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A Seafood from Scotland stand at Seafood Expo Global in Brussels in 2017. Scottish Seafood will administer £1.8m in funding to boost sales of Scottish seafood worldwide following setbacks caused by Brexit and Covid-19. Photo: FFE.
A Seafood from Scotland stand at Seafood Expo Global in Brussels in 2017. Scottish Seafood will administer £1.8m in funding to boost sales of Scottish seafood worldwide following setbacks caused by Brexit and Covid-19. Photo: FFE.

The Scottish government has announced funding of £1.8 million to help seafood businesses recover from the severe economic impacts of Brexit and Covid-19.

The funding will be managed by trade marketing body Seafood Scotland, which manages the Seafood from Scotland national brand representing all of the Scottish Seafood industry.

The new funding will support seafood businesses to access new markets within the UK and abroad, including campaigns in Asia, Europe, North America and the Middle East, the government said in a press release.

As major international trade events begin again, Seafood Scotland will engage with buyers to experience first-hand the broad range of seafood available.

Quality assurance

The work will also include developing a strategy to encourage sustainability and improve quality assurance and accreditation of seafood produce.

In Scotland, ‘buy local, support local’ campaigns are intended to encourage growth in the domestic market, capitalising on rising demand for seafood provenance and quality.

As the food service industry continues to re-open, Seafood Scotland will form close links with leading chefs, working alongside them to make Scottish seafood a prized, premium item on menus across the globe.

Mairi Gougeon: Funding will help the sector’s longer-term recovery.
Mairi Gougeon: Funding will help the sector’s longer-term recovery.

Trade barriers

Announcing the funding on a visit to processors Joseph Robertson in Aberdeen, Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “The last 16 months have been devastating for businesses in the seafood sector who have faced significant losses due to hospitality closures from Covid-19 and a raft of new trade barriers and bureaucracy following Brexit.

“The seafood sector is a crucial part of our rural economy, supporting jobs in coastal communities and our priority has been to protect people’s livelihoods.

“While we continue to work to resolve some of the export issues the sector faces, this new funding will help the sector’s longer-term recovery from these recent challenges.

New markets

“The funding for Seafood Scotland will help businesses explore new markets, giving them the support to promote their products across the UK and further afield.”

Seafood Scotland chief executive Donna Fordyce said: “The Scottish seafood supply chain is now firmly in recovery mode, with ambitious plans to access new markets and to grow existing trade relationships.

“Our role is to support them on this journey, opening doors to new opportunities, and to spread the word about the quality of our produce, which is prized the world over.”