One of Scotland’s oldest fishing and processing organisations was given the Royal stamp of approval yesterday (Monday 10 July) when the £3.1million expansion of RR Spink & Sons facility in Arbroath was officially opened by HRH The Princess Royal.
The company, which is part of Dawnfresh Seafoods, one of the UK’s largest processors of seafood, uses mainly Scottish fish, including trout from Dawnfresh’s own farms in Argyll, to deliver the highest quality of products for top bluechip retailers such as M&S and Sainsbury. RR. Spink hold the Royal Warrant as Fishmongers to Her Majesty The Queen.
The 170-strong team in Arbroath still prepares every product by hand – from curing and smoking to slicing and finishing – producing around 170,000 packets of fish a week. It is these traditional methods, along with the highest quality ingredients and native woods for smoking, that makes RR. Spink trout, salmon, mackerel and herring lines the most delicious products on the market.
Quality and care are of prime importance to consumers and everyone in the Dawnfresh Seafoods and Dawnfresh Farming are proud to have been endorsed by RSPCA Assured for their sustainably farmed trout, reared in a way that mimics those in which they would live in the wild and meet the highest welfare standards.
The Princess Royal met with Dawnfresh Directors and local dignitaries before being shown around the facility by Alastair Salvesen CBE, Chair of Dawnfresh, who described the different processes which take place at the site to produce the highest quality smoked fish.
During her visit, The Princess Royal witnessed how products were made, from the arrival of the ingredients to the finished product being despatched to supermarkets and other outlets across the UK. She also learned how the company guarantee the quality of all products as well ensuring the highest possible safety and food hygiene standards during production.
HRH met and spoke with many of the employees, most of whom live locally, to find out more about their work and life. These included: (See Notes to Editors for biographies):
- David Kerrigan – Manager, High Care Department
- Agnieszka Kozlowska – Team Leader, High Care Department
- Donald Clark – Chief Engineer
- Stephen Baillie – Hygiene Manager
- Konrad Lysowski – High Care team & Safety Champion
- Brian Hely – Kiln Champion
- Vincent Mitchell – Development Manager at RR Spink Arbroath
- Fiona Campbell – Site Planning Team
At the conclusion of her tour, The Princess Royal unveiled a plaque to commemorate the opening of the site, signed the Visitors Book and congratulated the RR Spink Team on their dedication and hard work.
Commenting after the visit Alastair Salvesen CBE, Chair of Dawnfresh, said: “High quality seafood is something for which Scotland is famous around the world. RR. Spink have been part of that story for more than 300 years and at Dawnfresh we are very aware of the responsibility this history brings. We are already one of the largest employers in Arbroath and this expansion and modernisation of the site has raised our facilities and equipment to a very high standard. This and our determination to the training all our employees, will enable us to grow our business significantly for the next 300 years.”
“We are very proud that RR. Spink holds a Royal Warrant as fishmongers to HM The Queen and are grateful that Her Royal Highness, who has just become the Prime Warden of The Worshipful Company of Fishmongers, has come to see for herself how the fish we supply to Her Majesty and her guests is sourced, prepared, processed and packed to the highest standards. We hope that she enjoyed her visit.”
Notes to Editors
For more information, contact Graeme Downie on 07973 300 184 or at email@example.com. More photographs available on request.
Photo Credit: Alan McCredie
Alastair Salvesen CBE, Chairman of RR Spink & Sons Ltd, a subsidiary company of Dawnfresh Seafoods Ltd, and chairman of the Edinburgh New Town Cookery School, The Dovecot Foundation and The Salvesen Mindroom Centre. He is a Director of Archangel Investments Ltd and the Fet-Lor Youth Club, a Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland and the Business Graduates Association, a Doctor of Science, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, the Chartered Institute of Marketing and the Chartered Institute of Management and was appointed a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers in 2001. He is a member of QBGS (RCA), an Honorary member of the Royal Scottish Academy, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
David Kerrigan started on 26th September 2016 as Department Manager. He brought 5 years of food industry experience. David is currently managing High Care department and a team of 60 employees including 3 Area Leaders. Fantastic asset to the team, David will be taking on a bigger role of a Zone Manager in due course.
Agnieszka Kozlowska – started working at RR Spink & Sons on 2013 as a Production Operative, and has been promoted within year to team leader position. In 2016 she started working as area leader in Hot Smoked Unit and from the beginning of this year she been promoted to Department Manager in Cold Smoke Unit and she is managing team of 20 people now. Agnieszka comes from Poland were she studied and gained degree in clinical psychology.
Donald Clark – Chief Engineer
Donald has been with the company for 6 years and has worked in the food industry for over 30 years. Donald was the Project Manager for all the works done at Arbroath during the site upgrade and extension.
Stephen Baillie started working for Dawnfresh October 2010 in our Uddingston site with more than 20 years’ experience in the food industry. Promoted to hygiene manager for Arbroath in 2013 and currently managing a team of 22 operatives including 2 team leaders over 3 shifts. Stephens’s development supported by Dawnfresh includes listeria management, modern apprenticeship in management, and microbiology in food production, food safety and HACCP.
Konrad Lysowski started on 09th May 2016, he had previously worked for recruitment agency and due to site growth company was able to offer him permanent employment last year. He is valuable member of High Care team, a safety Champion, First Aider, currently shadowing Area Leader to support his further development. Konrad originally comes from Poland and he has degree in biology, ecology and biodiversity, in the past he participated in owls migration and ecology surveys.
Brian Hely started on 04th May 2009, he has previously worked as a store manager in Somerfield. Brian is now a Kiln expert with 8 years’ experience in food industry. He was promoted from Production Operative, to Team Leader and Kiln Minder to recently Kiln Champion overlooking performance and smoking process of all kilns on site
Vincent Mitchell – Has always shown a passion for food starting work as a commis chef at the Craigendarroch Hotel in Ballater in 1998. By chance he then started working in a Development kitchen as an assistant in 1999. After enjoying the world of food development so much and nearly 20 years later Vincent has worked his way up to be Development Manager at the RR Spink Arbroath site
Fiona Campbell – Has worked for RR Spink since 1991. During that time she has worked in various roles across the business, starting as an operative on the production line all those years ago, gaining knowledge over the years from working in each department. This knowledge is put to good use in her current role as part of the Site Planning Team of which she has been an integral part of for the last 12 years.
Dawnfresh is one of the UK’s largest producers of fish and seafood. We’re based in Scotland, and produce for food service and retail, both in the UK and around the world. In addition to using our own farmed trout we also work with many other species.
We manage a number of farming sites as well as specialised production facilities handling fresh (chilled), frozen, marinated, smoked and other value-added lines. We provide a complete range of services, from basic fish processing and supply through to the full product development cycle; from identifying opportunities to delivering the finished product.
We pride ourselves on the passion, knowledge and expertise of our team. While especially renowned for our work with trout and salmon, we also create products using a broad range of species – including mackerel, haddock and prawns.
We work with the UK’s largest retailers and food service companies, and so have extensive knowledge of the market – both as a supplier, and through producing and developing our own brands.
We strive to be the very best – which, for us, includes working to the highest ethical standards, and always recognising and respecting the needs of our people, our customers, our partners, our consumers and the communities within which we work.
This knowledge and passion, coupled with our innovative NPD team and industry-leading standards, make us the perfect business partner.