World's first organic cod farm battles to stay afloat
Intensive negotiations are going on to try to save the world's first organic cod farm, based on the Shetland Islands, which has hit a funding crisis and gone into administration.
The No Catch group has provided a double dose of hope with its operations, offering a potential answer to the widespread overfishing of wild cod, which is leading to drastically falling stocks of the fish, while providing 130 jobs in an area where new jobs are scarce.
But both are at risk, after the company failed to find new funding to meet an estimated £40m of debt, and administrators moved in.
No Catch, formerly a fish farm run by Johnson Brothers at Vidlin on Shetland's east coast, was transformed after it was taken over by colourful Scottish entrepreneur Karol Rzepkowski.
Mr Rzepkowski invested heavily in the business and obtained organic status for his farmed cod, not least by procuring their feed from natural sources. The result, he said, was "the world's first truly sustainable, organic cod farm" and he quickly attracted attention with what was seen as a revolution in aquaculture. His product gained an international reputation.
Now it hangs in the balance after Daniel Smith and Robert Caven, partners in the corporate-recovery firm Grant Thornton, were appointed joint administrators of the company this week.
Mr Smith said management and shareholders had underestimated the start-up funding required to maintain the business while it built up a stock of mature fish because farmed cod take more than three years to reach marketable size.
It has started to produce sales, but it is not producing enough to cover its costs – although 3,600 tonnes of cod could be harvested later this year, with a market value of £12m. In effect, it has lots of assets but not enough cash.
The company is still trading, and the administrators are actively seeking other investors prepared to take it over, as it is considered to have a good future if new funding can be found.
Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts
Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested
George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios
Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?
Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets
Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination
I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title
- 1 Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala dies after injuring spine doing somersault celebration
- 2 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 3 Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake report claiming that the street artist's identity has been revealed
- 4 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 5 Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
London bus driver allegedly kicks gay couple off for kissing
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
£80 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Year 5 Teacher KS2 teaching job...
£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Pensions Scheme After 6 Months: Clearwater People So...
£35000 - £37000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Busines...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Senior Change ...