Former MSP Tavish Scott quits Scottish Rugby to lead Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation

Former Liberal Democrat MSP Tavish Scott has been appointed as the new chief executive of the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO).

Tavish Scott has been at Scottish Rugby since summer 2019 and is expected to take up his new role in November.

Scott comes from Scottish Rugby, where he has been head of external affairs. He replaces the SSPO’s departing chief executive, Julie Hesketh-Laird, who leaves at the end of this month.

The trade body, which represents Scotland’s salmon producers, said the former Scottish Government minister and Shetland MSP would bring a “formidable knowledge of politics and the political process” to the role.

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Scott said: “Scottish salmon is the UK’s biggest food export. Its value to the economy is immense and it has the ability to help lead Scotland out of the Covid crisis, building on its sustainable foundations and driving a green recovery.”

Atholl Duncan, chairman of the SSPO, said: “We are delighted to have secured someone as knowledgeable and experienced as Tavish to help lead our sector. His passion for salmon farming and his deep roots in our salmon communities are well known.

“There is a great opportunity right now for the Scottish salmon sector to thrive and to create more jobs and prosperity in our rural and island communities.

“Tavish has the skills to help us all to realise this potential for the greater good of Scotland.”

Scott is expected to take up his new role in November, the organisation added. He has been Scottish Rugby’s head of external affairs since leaving Parliament in July 2019.

Scott is a former leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats (2008-11) and was a Shetland Islands councillor (1994-9).

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