It sounds mad: shipping UK-caught langoustine thousands of miles to be processed, then back again to be turned into breaded scampi and put on sale. That's what leading seafood producer Young's started doing last year. We read :
The journey for the scampi that ends up on dinner plates and in pub baskets across the country starts in traditional style - the catch being landed by inshore fishing boats in ports like Stornoway. From there it is taken by lorry to the Scottish border town of Annan, which is where things start to change.
In the past the scampi was shelled by machine in Scotland. Now it is taken first to Grangemouth and loaded into containers, which are in effect giant freezers.
They are shipped to Rotterdam before being loaded onto a huge container ship alongside around 7,000 other containers for the long haul to Bangkok.
The key part of the process takes place in Thailand, as the langoustine are peeled by hand .
The long journey home from Bangkok takes the frozen, peeled langoustine through Rotterdam again before a short hop across the North Sea to Grimsby, where the scampi is breaded - and then delivered to our supermarkets and our plates.
The whole round-trip is about 17,000 miles (27,353km).
"They cover this up and distract it by saying it's carbon neutral, but in truth this is about minimising costs and maximising profits." says Willie Mackenzie of Greenpeace.
The motives of Youngs Seafoods is indeed exactly what Greenpeace claim , grubby lucre, and nothing at all to do with energy conservation or protecting the enviroment from CO2 emissions . The local workers cannot compete, even if, on Britain's minimum wage, with the Thai prawn-peelers who are paid 25p per hour.
The company announced 120 job cuts when it transferred scampi shelling operations to Thailand and leaves less than 50 workers at the Dumfries facility.
John Holroyd, of the T&G, said: “This is all about exploiting cheap labour abroad..."
Another company , Dawnfresh of Uddingston , in 2006 shed 70 staff to send Scottish prawns to China for shelling before being returned to the UK for sale.
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