Peterhead fish firm nets FSB award

A Peterhead fish firm that switched from wholesale to e-commerce landed the FSB Small Business of the Year 2022 award at a special ceremony in Glasgow.

By Brian Yule
Thursday, 26th May 2022, 5:02 pm
Jimmy Buchan celebrates winning the award. Pic: Kirsty Anderson
Jimmy Buchan celebrates winning the award. Pic: Kirsty Anderson

Amity Fish Company, led by Jimmy Buchan star of the BBC’s Trawlermen TV series, netted the overall prize at the event hosted by TV personalities Clare Balding and JJ Chalmers.

Beating more than 3000 other entrants and dozens of regional and national winners, Amity’s ingenuity and resilience impressed the judges.

During the pandemic, the business switched from exclusively supplying restaurants and the hospitality trade to delivering seafood products directly to people in their homes.

Although intended to be a temporary move until the hospitality sector reopened, demand for home delivery grew.

The company went on to invest in a new custom-built website and e-commerce platform that allows customers to easily land their catch. Thanks to a focus on both quality and convenience, this change led to the business doubling their turnover and increasing their headcount.

This is the third year in the row that a business located in Scotland has been crowned overall UK champion at the FSB awards.

Jimmy s aid: “I am stunned that our wee business has been crowned FSB’s UK small business of the year.

“I have worked in the fishing industry for more than four decades, and the last few years have been amongst the most challenging on record. But thanks to the dedication and ingenuity of my team, not only have we made it through but we’re landing new customers.

“My thanks go to FSB for hosting these brilliant awards, and to all of those people that have given our fantastic products a chance.”

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon addressed the award ceremony.

She said: “Smaller businesses are critically important to our local economies and communities. It is a ringing endorsement of our entrepreneurial spirit that, for the third year in a row, FSB’s small business of the year is based in Scotland.

“I congratulate Amity Fish Company – a business that rose to the many challenges the pandemic posed, seeking out new opportunities in exceptionally tough conditions.

“We are directly supporting small businesses with actions to boost productivity and entrepreneurship through the Scottish Government’s National Strategy for Economic Transformation.

“As these awards demonstrate, the Scottish Government is helping make Scotland one of the best places in the UK to start and run a small business through new measures to revitalise town and city centres and regenerate local economies.”

Martin McTague, National Chair of FSB, added: “Congratulations to Amity Fish Company; a company that innovated to survive through the pandemic, adopting digital skills.

“It takes grit and talent to thrive in the face of constant challenges but, despite all the headwind, this is a brilliant example of ingenuity, innovation, creativity - a perfect illustration of how vital small businesses are to the economy and to our communities.”