The Managing Director of Wester Ross Salmon and, since 2022 when the company was sold to Mowi, also Business Development Director – Farming at Mowi Scotland, Gilpin Bradley retires. After a lifetime dedicated to aquaculture, specifically salmon farming, always focused on all-natural artisanal farming practices, the former chairman of the Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation (now Salmon Scotland) is retiring for health reasons.
The veteran Gilpin Bradley has a business degree from Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, and has held the position of Managing Director of Wester Ross Salmon for 33 years. The company, which was co-founded by his father Robin in 1977, was sold in June 2022 to the world's largest salmon farming company, Mowi.
Since then, during the ownership transition, and until the announcement of his retirement, Bradley has maintained his position at the helm of Wester Ross by combining it with that of Business Development Director – Farming at Mowi Scotland.
His outstanding career in Scottish salmon farming led Gilpin Bradley to receive Ambassador of the Year at the Highlands and Islands Food & Drink Awards twice, the first in 2013 and the second last year, in 2022. However, more than for his awards, he is recognized for his legacy through the Wester Ross Salmon Education Trust.
Founded by him to help Ullapool High School students reach their full career potential, this trust is a further demonstration of Bradley's commitment to investing in the next generation of students who wish to pursue a sustainable lifestyle and rewarding careers in aquaculture, environmental studies, or STEM subjects.
It is precisely this commitment to training the future generations of Scottish aquaculture that Ben Hadfield, COO at Mowi Scotland, has emphasized about him. "Gilpin is such a respected and admired leader, with many farmers having learned their trade from Gilpin directly. His experience spans every part of the business's value chain and is a key reason for the growth and success of the Wester Ross Salmon brand," he said.
"He is a charming artisan, which is supported by the grit, resilience as Business Development Director, Farming Scotland, and Managing Director of Wester Ross Salmon, and know-how needed to meet all the challenges of farming salmon in Wester Ross for over three decades," he added.
"I am very pleased to have been part of Scottish salmon farming – one of the greatest private sector economic success stories in the Highlands and Islands in the last 50 years," Gilpin Bradley said for his part in a statement on his retirement.
"Wester Ross has survived many challenging cycles by having a strong commitment from my dedicated team, some of whom are now third generation. Our focus on all natural artisan farming practices has created an enviable brand, and our unique approach is greatly appreciated by our long-standing loyal customers," he concluded.
Looking ahead to retirement, Bradley hopes to devote time to his ongoing health issues, to support his two teenage daughters, and, finally, to achieve a reasonable work-life balance. However, he has also assured he will remain available to both Mowi and the Wester Ross team.
Founded in 1977, by Robin Bradley and Alan Mann, Wester Ross Fisheries is the oldest independently operated salmon farm in Scotland. With a unique artisan approach to salmon farming, they have been hand-rearing their fish for generations. The company currently manages three seawater sites in Loch Kannaird, Loch Broom, and Little Loch Broom with a processing unit and a sales and administration office in Dingwall.
Mowi ASA is one of the largest seafood companies in the world. Present in 20 countries, it is the world's largest producer of Atlantic salmon with harvest volumes of 464 000 tonnes in 2022, approximately 20% of the global market share. For its part, Mowi Scotland raises its salmon in Scottish Highland waters and employs 1,500 staff, with 48 farms that produce over 68,000 tonnes of salmon annually. Its products are primarily sold within the United Kingdom, where it is the largest supplier of farm-raised salmon.