Steven Girgan, born and bred in Kirkcudbright.
‘I have been fishing for 40 years, fishing has been my one and only job. I have been skippering scallop vessels for 35 years.
I have owned and skippered the Susan Bird for 25 years. She is a 24 metre Scallop fishing vessel, operating using Beams rather than outriggers.
I have been landing all of our catches to WCSP for around 30 years, we never land to anyone else.
We try to land every 4 days when the weather allows.’
1. How would you describe the supplier/buyer relationship between you and WCSP?
‘We have a strong relationship based entirely upon trust, there is no formal structure in place yet the relationship has stood the test of time.
It has been a very long term relationship with loyalty on both sides, at times when scallop demand has been weak WCSP have happily taken the product, at times when demand has been very strong we have not landed elsewhere for the better prices being dangled in front of us, trusting WCSP to always be in the ball park.’
2. What factors are most important to you when landing products to seafood processors?
Price is important but possibly not the most important factor for me.
Good service is so helpful in making my life easier and this is one thing that WCSP really excel at, absolutely nothing seems to be too much trouble for Robert Scott their transport manager. As an owner operator without a company support network to fall back on this is priceless to me. Robert being such a great help in ensuring things run smoothly is an important reason for my loyalty to WCSP.
Location and flexibility of landing is never an issue when landing to WCSP, see above ref transport manager, Robert seems to be able to arrange transport anywhere in the UK and Ireland sometimes at very short notice due to unforeseen circumstances, again this is very helpful to me.
Friendliness I see as a bonus but at the end of the day it is business so it’s not all that important.
Our entire business relationship with WCSP is based on trust, there are no formal agreements or contracts, if that trust ever ends then so will the business relationship.
Something of great importance to me is the product always being processed in Kirkcudbright thereby supporting the local economy to a far greater degree than just the direct local spend that goes through my business. I like our “Wee Toon” and anything that I can possibly contribute towards maintaining its vibrancy in these difficult economic times I will do wherever possible, landing to WCSP with everything being processed here in Kirkcudbright helps the towns continued socio-economic wellbeing.
3. Do you feel that family businesses operate differently to non-family businesses?
With WCSP yes, I did land to a different company very briefly in the distant past and they had absolutely no idea about fishing where as WCSP in John King has a very successful ex- fisherman at the helm, one who really knows the know and is still heavily involved in the fishing side of things. This gives them an edge in understanding issues and why sometimes things are just the way they are in fishing, rarely following a financial spreadsheet to the letter no matter how much the accountant screams and stamps their feet.