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Salmon smoker joins fish farmers in Japan delegation

Scottish seafood will once again be on the menu at a reception for Japanese buyers. Photo: Seafood Scotland.
Scottish seafood will once again be on the menu at a reception for Japanese buyers. Photo: Seafood Scotland.

Salmon smoker Associated Seafoods is joining salmon farmers Mowi Scotland and the Scottish Salmon Company as part in the biggest Scottish seafood delegation ever to attend the Japan Seafood Expo in Tokyo this week.

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The Buckie company is one of two companies attending for the first time, along with Scrabster-based JPL Shellfish.

All of the farmed salmon Associated Seafood uses is sourced from Scotland. It lists the Scottish Salmon Company and Scottish Sea Farms as supply partners.

Neil Greig:
Neil Greig: "We see Japan as a new and exciting opportunity." Photo: Associated Seafoods.

Discerning consumer

Neil Greig, commercial director at Associated Seafoods, said in a press release: “We see Japan as a new and exciting opportunity for Associated Seafoods. We know the Japanese consumer values high quality seafood and we believe our authentic, premium Scottish smoked salmon is ideally placed to be well received by arguably the world’s most discerning seafood consumer.

“We already have a track record of delivering excellent quality and service to a number of leading global retailers and believe Japan represents a major opportunity. The support and guidance we have received from Seafood Scotland in the past in opening new markets has been invaluable and we see them playing an important role as we move forward in Japan.”

Scottish seafood exports to Japan rose to over 2,630 tonnes last year, up from 598 tonnes in 2017, and this year 10 companies will attend the Expo, which runs from Wednesday until Friday.

Around 35,000 visitors including a host of important international trade buyers from trading companies, wholesalers, distributors, retail and the restaurant trade are expected at the event.

Raising a glass to Scottish seafood: Natalie Bell in Japan in 2016. Click on image to enlarge. Photo: Seafood Scotland.
Raising a glass to Scottish seafood: Natalie Bell in Japan in 2016. Click on image to enlarge. Photo: Seafood Scotland.

Prominent message

Seafood Scotland said that by coming together as a delegation, Scottish companies can ensure that ‘buying Scottish’ is a prominent message, reaching those that influence eating and buying habits across the Asia region. 

Natalie Bell, head of trade marketing Asia, Europe and Middle East at Seafood Scotland, said: “Asia, and in particular Japan, is one of the largest consumers of seafood in the world.

“Their desire for Scottish seafood is on the increase, mirroring their appetite for high quality, sustainable and traceable products. The Japanese culture values prestige, reputation and respect above all else, with consumers aligning themselves with products and organisations that embody these values – the Scottish seafood story is the perfect fit. It is a traditional market, so our continued work here is imperative.

The Scottish delegation

  • Hebridean Smokehouse
  • Denholm Seafoods
  • Lunar
  • Scottish Salmon Company
  • Scottish Fishermen’s Organisation
  • The Crab Company Scotland
  • Northbay Pelagic
  • Associated Seafoods
  • JPL Shellfish
  • Mowi

Important connections

“Our aim is to continue to help Scotland grow in Japan, and the Japan Seafood Expo provides a fantastic platform for this. It offers our most ambitious exporters the opportunity to take advantage of and make the all-important connections with buyers across the region.”

Scottish chef Scott Lyall is joining the delegation to prepare and showcase the versatility of Scottish products, fresh from the Seafood from Scotland stand. He will demonstrate how Scottish seafood can be used for more traditional Japanese cuisine and offer tasters to attendees.

In addition to attending the Expo, the Scottish contingent is hosting a ‘Taste of Scotland’ seafood reception at the ambassador’s residence in the British Embassy, to form new ties with buyers and chefs who might include Scottish seafood on their menus.  

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