MSP Joan McAlpine is urging Marks & Spencer to use its influence with Young’s Seafood to keep the threatened Pinney’s plant open.
And in a letter to M&S chairman Archie Norman, she said customers expected Scottish salmon to be totally produced in Scotland.
She has also accused the retailer of squeezing suppliers on terms and said the closure of the Pinneys factory comes despite a £600,000 upgrade demanded by the company.
She said that Young’s was being asked to absorb too much of the 25 per cent rise in salmon prices over the past 15 months.
The SNP member for the South Scotland region said: ‘They should give them a fairer deal. M&S is huge, one of the biggest food producers in the UK, and I’m sure they could review contracts and find options that will save these jobs.’
She pointed out that M&S insisted that the site produced seafood exclusively for them, which has left the staff particularly vulnerable.
Anger erupted last week after Young’s announced that it was planning to close the Pinneys site at Annan, with the loss of up to 450 jobs and move natural salmon production to Grimsby.
Young’s is also creating 200 jobs in Grimsby, but most of those are the result of winning an M&S coated fish contract from another Grimsby seafood firm, Five Star Fish, which looks like closing its factory, where 390 people are employed.
McAlpine has also written to Young’s CEO Bill Showalter, telling him that the decision has caused ‘shock across the nation’ and asking what other options he has looked at.
She asked him: why was the site ‘no longer financially sustainable’ when Young’s had secured major secure contracts from UK retailers, and to spell out the exceptional market challenges facing the sector.
McAlpine has also suggested that the site should be sold to another seafood company to continue the Pinneys name.
Picture: MSP Joan McAlpine