Fair working practices are good for business

30 June 2020

“If you can eliminate employees’ stresses, you have a more productive and more loyal workforce. People buy into the company and want it to succeed if they feel valued by the company.

At the end of the day, a business has to work as a team – everyone in the company has a voice and is listened to. If you don’t value and listen to everyone, it doesn’t work.”

John Farley, Director, Sutherlands of Portsoy


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Who we are

We are a traditional smokehouse dating back to 1908, based in the idyllic village of Portsoy on the north east coast of Scotland. We have an established core range of the finest smoked Scottish fish which we sell locally, online and door to door and export all over the world, as well as supporting the hospitality sector across the north east. We also have an innovation range which looks to partner with food and drink producers in the north east.

Building a culture of fair work

When our owner/managing director, John Farley bought Sutherland’s of Portsoy three years ago, he set about building a team culture. As he says, “I could be the greatest entrepreneur in the world, but unless I’ve got a team behind me, it would be valueless.”

The Scottish Government’s ‘Fair Work’ initiative wasn’t on our radar when we were putting our team-building and workforce development practices in place.

Even so, our practices align closely to the Scottish Government definition of fair work as ‘work that offers effective voice, respect, security, opportunity and fulfilment’. We also follow its Fair Work practices of investing in skills and training and ensuring no inappropriate use of zero hours contracts.

We hope other businesses can learn from the way we do things.

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