Bakkafrost announces 140 job losses: ‘Atmosphere like a funeral’

Editorial Staff

The number of long-term customer contracts has dropped significantly in the past year.

140 workers at the Bakkafrost fish processing plant in Glyvrar in the Faroe Islands are to lose their jobs this year.

The cuts are the direct result of the recently introduced extra taxes on fish farmers, said Bakkafrost CEO Regin Jacobsen.

“These taxes undermine the foundations of our activities, and they have severely affected our competitiveness on the international market,” he said.

The number of long-term customer contracts has dropped significantly in the past year.

“To remain competitive in the face of these challenges, we have to lay off staff in the specialty production unit. We currently have two shifts, but at the start of next year, we’ll go down to one,” said Jacobsen.

“This is a very unfortunate situation. We were hoping for some political changes that would allow us to hold on to all our staff, but these changes did not materialise.”

He adds that he does not expect further layoffs.

A psychologist and a vicar were present on Tuesday when staff were briefed about the layoffs

Kári Egholm Jacobsen, who heads the Bakkafrost specialty production unit, said the atmosphere was akin to a funeral when the redundancy notices were handed out.

“This was a sombre day for all of us. It obviously hurts to let go of 140 highly valued employees,” he told KVF.

“However, these added taxes force us to make these job cuts because otherwise Bakkafrost would encounter massive financial losses. This would go against our duty to our shareholders, our staff and the Faroese economy as a whole.”

He added that as things stand, the laid-off staff members will, at best, be able to return to their jobs in a year’s time.

Faroese trade minister Høgni Hoydal said on Tuesday evening that this is a highly unfortunate situation and that the government is willing to look at possible adjustments to taxes on fish farmers. 


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