New manager completes MSD team

THE aquaculture team at MSD Animal Health has welcomed the appointment of a new UK business manager.

Sophie Smith brings extensive experience to the role, which involves working with Scotland’s top salmon producers on their fish health programmes.

She replaces Dafydd Morris, who has moved on to head MSD’s operations as general manager for Nordics Aqua.

MSD provides products including the sea lice remedy Slice and the Aquavac range of vaccines to the aquaculture industry.

Smith’s responsibilities will involve product strategy and planning; key account management; market intelligence; pricing and projects coordination; and leadership of the aquaculture team.

A graduate from Newcastle University with a BSc in agriculture and environmental science, Smith was awarded the George Heslop Harrison award for excellence in agricultural zoology, specialising in parasitology.

She joins MSD from Agrihealth, where she led the UK sales operation. She was CEO at Downland Marketing for nine years, and prior to that was with Pfizer Animal Health and at Grampian Pharmaceuticals developing a sea lice treatment for salmon.

Commenting on her new position, she said: ‘Having worked previously in aquaculture, followed by further 20 years at various levels of the distribution chain in the animal health industry, I am absolutely delighted to return to aquaculture in this important and exciting role for MSD Animal Health.

‘I am passionate about Scotland and will draw on my experience in the industry to ensure that MSD continues to work in close partnership with customers to help educate and develop a sustainable future for the Scottish aquaculture industry.

‘Scottish salmon’s reputation is built on high standards of fish health and welfare and the industry clearly has some significant challenges ahead over the next few years working towards its goal of increasing production to 210,000 tonnes by 2020, and doubling the annual contribution of the Aquaculture Industry to Scotland’s economy to £3.6 billion by 2030.

‘Careful management of fish health, whilst minimising our environmental footprint, is absolutely fundamental to achievement of the above production goals, and this is where I intend to focus our efforts.’

Albert Urbanek, integrated livestock business unit director at MSD Animal Health, said: ‘We are delighted to welcome Sophie to our team and look forward to utilising her widespread knowledge of the animal health industry and aquaculture industry.

‘She is passionate about the fish farming industry and her strategic thinking skills and proven business skills will continue to build our success as a company.

‘We have an important role in ensuring the continuing health of farmed fish which will enable the industry to grow and flourish.

‘With Sophie joining us, our UK team is complete and we look forward to engaging with our customers to continue to build our services to producers and the industry throughout Scotland.’

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