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Written by Katrina MacKay

On  November 17th and 18th I attended the Employee Ownership Association’s Annual Conference in Nottingham with John Palmer our Employee Director, Michelle Quadrelli Business Manager and John Lupton, our CEO and keynote speaker for the event.


The event was extremely popular with nearly 500 people in attendance,  highlighting the rising popularity of employee ownership in the UK. It was also very interesting to see the diverse range of sectors that have chosen to become employee owned using the various ownership models that are available.   The variety of employee ownership models available is I believe, one of the keys to its success as it ensures that there is a model to suit every company considering making this exciting step.



EO Insta



Throughout the event it was clear to see the benefits that the move can make, some of which are highlighted in the above infographic from the Employee Ownership Association


The award ceremony was a great part of the first day; we saw many worthy companies receive awards for their efforts and triumphs in the move to employee ownership.   Each of the winners stories were inspiring and it was great seeing other innovative companies being highly commended for their contribution.   It showed the best of what the future can hold for those of us who want to succeed. The awards included, Employee Ownership Champion, Employee Engagement, Employee Innovation, Rising Star, Public Service, EO Business of the year and the Philip Baxendale award.


The keynote speakers provided many stories and examples of their own experiences of Employee Ownership.  These were really interesting to hear, as were the individual seminars that took place through out the day. Our CEO, John was one of the final keynote speakers and his presentation went down very well as was clear to see through twitter.     A quote from his presentation that I feel sums it up for us very well for us as a business is:


“At Scott & Fyfe we were galvanised by the growing influence of Employee Ownership

in both terms of performance and engagement.”


All in all the day was full of enthusiastic and positive people with inspiring and thought provoking tales  to tell.   It has since been really interesting for us to compare the other companies experiences to our own as many were not dissimilar to ours, proving that it is not just a case of ticking the boxes.


For those  who could  not make  it to the event  here is one key  take away  from each of us  from the day:


“An effective and consistent induction programme in line with company vision is

essential for success in employee owned organisations."                

    John Palmer, Employee Elected Director     


"It was encouraging seeing how the different employee owned companies were

working through the different stages of their own journeys.”

Michelle Quadrelli, Business Manager     


As for me, I think one of the key takeaways is that employee engagement is the

catalyst for a successful Employee Owned Company.


If you want to discuss this more or see us in action as an employee owned company then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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Written by Guest Blogger


I applied to Scott & Fyfe through the Saltire Foundation, an organization who provide internships across the world for penultimate undergraduate Scottish University students. When the internship options were posted I was studying at the University of North Texas as a part of my degree. I focused solely on Scottish based internships as after being away for five months I wanted to be able to catch up with friends and family on weekends!


I applied to Scott & Fyfe as I am studying the International Business Management course at Edinburgh Napier University and was interested in the variety of different markets that they manufacture technical textiles for. It was my intent to gain valuable experience through applying my university knowledge directly into the workplace.


My internship focused on the knitted hose reinforcement fabric, Polyknit Easyform, for use in automotive silicone hoses. I was tasked with analyzing the current market in order to determine how Scott & Fyfe should proceed with the textile product.


Through my degree so far I have studied numerous topics relating to business such as accounting, marketing, management and logistics; this knowledge proved extremely useful when launching the product and completing my final report. Alongside this I carried out marketing communication work and completed a market analysis and sales forecast using a variety of business framework tools. My internship culminated with a presentation to the board outlining my key findings and recommendations for the product.


Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Scott & Fyfe. By being part of this technical textile business I benefited through being able to apply the theory from University into practice. The internship gave me a great amount of freedom regarding my approach to the task and this improved my time management and organizational skills.


The environment at Scott & Fyfe is extremely friendly, with the open plan Innovation Space it was easy for me to ask for advice whenever I needed it. The project was important and provided value to Scott & Fyfe; it defied the stereotypical image of internships being all about making coffee! The responsibility I was given made me much more motivated, as I felt valued by the company. I would highly recommend working for Scott & Fyfe; this internship has given me skills and experience that will greatly benefit my future career prospects!


Robert Gathergood

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On Thursday we held our own Wear it Pink event for Breast Cancer Awareness in order to help raise some money for the great cause. As usual everyone got involved and had fun in the process although some definitely had more fun than others as you can see in the pictures!


Everyone was asked to participate by following the simple rules of wearing pink and donating to the charity.


For more information on Breast Cancer Awareness month have a look at their website:

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Written by Guest Blogger

Living abroad can be quite challenging, especially when it comes to study and even work in a place totally different to where you came from. My name is Leonardo Fantinati, I am Brazilian and I took the challenge to live and study on my own at Dundee. The results of my experience were quite exciting!


I started my study program at DJCAD (Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design) on September 2013 under the ‘Science without Borders Programme’ scheme. As a Product Design Student I got involved with projects and subjects exploring multidisciplinary fields of study and solving numerous problems by the use of appropriate research techniques.


My interest into new methodologies and innovative materials to work with led me to attend a specific module, ‘Textiles Futures’ aiming to give students opportunities to understand and have contact with the field of technical textiles.


The project briefing, in partnership with Scott & Fyfe, tasked us to consider how some of the their existing textiles could be re-appropriated, developing innovative contexts of use and researching new areas of application in terms of market viability.


Focusing on the ‘wearable industry’ and providing the user with good ergonomics and comfort during hours of use, the product concept was to provide a low-cost utility shoe formed with a two-piece die cut pattern dispensing conventional construction models such as sewing, being easily foldable and constructed around the user’s foot.




Due to my efforts I was offered the opportunity of a two month paid Research and Development Internship at Scott & Fyfe. As a part of the Composites Pod my duties included gaining market insights into the Composite industry with a view to analyze distributors and potential customers not recognized in Latin regions. Another element of my work was to gather insights into Composite product ranges and support new product developments.


The best part of everything? I’ve learnt a lot, both at DJCAD and Scott & Fyfe. Studying and working abroad provides you with the ability to leave your comfort zone and it unequivocally influences your worldview. On a personal level, independence and self-confidence is what you take. Besides that, the interaction and contact with people all over the world can provide you long-standing friendships and a diversified network of contacts.


On a professional and academic level, the whole experience taught me cross-cultural and interpersonal communication skills while working in a multicultural team, making me able to easily adapt to new settings, backgrounds and challenges that may appear. Scott & Fyfe gave me an awesome opportunity to develop these abilities while working with a competent and challenging team. Thank you guys for everything! 

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Written by Katrina MacKay

On the 30th of September we welcomed over 30 people into our Innovation Space as a part of the Co-operative Development Scotland series of Successful Succession events. This coincided with our 150th Birthday Celebrations and Macmillan Biggest Coffee Morning and we think the event was a great success!


The purpose of the Employee Ownership event was to promote and encourage current business owners down the route of employee ownership by explaining the journey we took, and the model we are using. Richard Tough, our former family owner, spoke poignantly about the decision that was taken by the family to become employee owned in order to ensure that the company stayed in Tayport, Scotland and would not be sold to a global conglomerate. 


Nick Kuenssberg, Chairman then discussed how the transaction took place and how this decision was communicated to the employees. John Palmer, Employee Elected Director closed with a detailed account of how this change has affected the company and its new owners and how we are currently on a mission to achieve employee engagement as we are only 18 months in.


After a tour of the factory and the talks we held a Q&A session with the questions being streamed live via twitter (#SFEO) for all to see. There were a lot of really interesting and thought provoking questions asked by our visitors and I think our panel answered them all well!

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For our 150th birthday celebrations we had a Scottish themed hot buffet for our employees and guests and a fantastic cake to cut. The cake was cut by our current longest serving member of staff, Dennis Auld who has been with the company for a whopping 42 years now.


Our Macmillan Biggest Coffee Morning was also held on this day to raise more funds for this important and worthy charity, to date we have raised over £140. As always there was a fantastic turn out for the cake and candy stall and all of our visitors dug deep and had plenty to eat, who could refuse?

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About Us

With innovation, diversity and partnership at the heart of our company’s ethos, Scott & Fyfe have been designing and producing a vast range of technical textiles for numerous market areas worldwide for almost 150 years. Our ability to design and manufacture products for both current and future market needs have allowed us to build a global reputation for excellence in both quality and service.

Scott & Fyfe
Tayport Works, Links Road, Tayport, Fife, Scotland

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