Scottish seafood sector export plans

The Scottish seafood sector hopes to boost exports at Seafood Expo Global in Brussels

The Scottish seafood sector is hoping to boost export sales at Seafood Expo Global, which starts this week (April 25) in Brussels, following last year’s “record high” food and drink exports.

A total of 46 Scottish companies are to attend the expo in Brussels, with 22 exhibiting in the event’s dedicated Scottish pavilion.

The delegation heading to Brussels this year has grown by about 40%, compared with last year.

Industry body Seafood Scotland said this increase was influenced by the success of last year’s event. It saw a number of deals signed by Scottish producers, including a contract for Dawnfresh to sell Harasu trout bellies to a company in Japan.

Seafood Scotland’s trade marketing manager for Europe, Middle East and Asia Natalie Bell said: “Seafood now accounts for the biggest rise [26% year-on-year] in food exports from Scotland – and there is no sign that demand is doing anything but increasing. 

‘Best foot forward and aiming high’

“With buyers wielding global purchasing power present in Brussels, we’re putting our best foot forward and aiming high on the order front.” 

The show attracts buyers from all eight of the top prospect markets in the Scotland food and drink export plan – see the list below.

Seafood Expo Global is a key show for the industry, according to Scottish Development International’s head of food and drink Susan Beattie.

Scottish food and drink exports – at a glance
  • Worth £5.5bn in 2016
  • Grew 8% from 2015
  • Exports to EU countries worth £2.3bn
  • Seafood exports worth £759M

“We are supporting companies to make the most of this opportunity – through organising the Scottish Pavilion along with Seafood Scotland and by providing market insights and making connections with potential buyers,” said Beattie. 

“I hope that participating companies will see strong business benefits as a result.”

Record breaking high of £5.5bn

Meanwhile, Scottish food and drink exports reached a record breaking high of £5.5bn last year – an 8% rise and a 56% rise since 2007.

The fish and seafood category recorded the largest overall increase of £156M (up 26% to £759M), with Europe the leading export destination. 

The Scottish seafood sector also saw success in a recent visit to Boston in March, securing opportunities to sell more Scottish seafood to the US market.

Scottish food and drink exports also received an £8.3M boost this month, after businesses signed new deals in the US and Canada.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon revealed the news at a food and drink showcase in New York this month (April 7). 

“The news that Scottish business is thriving and securing multi-million pound contracts is fantastic and it is especially encouraging to see so many independent businesses doing so well,” she said.


Scotland food and drink export plan key markets
  • North America (US and Canada)
  • France
  • Germany
  • Middle East (United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain)
  • Mainland China and Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • South-east Asia (Singapore and Thailand)
  • Nordics (Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland)

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