Scottish delegation descends on Brussels
A total of 46 Scottish companies are attending the three-day Seafood Expo Global, the world’s largest seafood show, in Brussels.
The delegation includes 22 companies exhibiting their wares as part of the Scotland pavilion, covering the whole Scottish market, including shellfish, salmon, whitefish and pelagic.
The number is up by about 40 per cent compared to last year’s event, where numerous deals were signed. Scottish food and drink exports reached new high of £5.5 billion in 2016 – a rise from 2015 of 8 per cent and up 56 per cent since 2007. Within this performance, Scottish seafood accounts for around £759 million.
Seafood Expo Global attracts buyers from all over the world, and with food exports from Scotland to Asia rising over 400 per cent since 2007, this means it is a crucial three days for the Scottish sector, and can have a significant impact on the year’s trading across all international markets.
Thriving international marketplace
Natalie Bell, trade marketing manager for EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Asia) at Seafood Scotland said: “Seafood now accounts for the biggest rise [26 per cent year on year] in food exports from Scotland – and there is no sign that demand is doing anything but increasing. The seafood industry has worked hard over the past ten years to attract more business to Scotland by showcasing our sustainable, world-class products – resulting in a thriving international marketplace for our seafood. With buyers wielding global purchasing power present in Brussels, we’re putting our best foot forward and aiming high on the order front.”
Scott Landsburgh, chief executive of Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation, said: “Scottish salmon is a high-quality food with a well-established global fan base spanning 60 countries. Despite a rise in market prices last year resulting from growing international demand for the UK’s favourite fish, and Scotland’s number one food export, consumer demand has not been affected. It’s clear that high quality and taste remain firmly on the agenda. This is great news for our producers as they head out to the world’s largest seafood event to secure new business and build on trade links for the coming years.”
Strong business benefits
Susan Beattie, head of food and drink at Scottish Development International, said: “It’s great to see such a strong delegation of companies attending the show this year, all showcasing their fantastic range of top quality seafood products to an influential international audience. This is a key show for our industry, attracting buyers from all eight top prospect markets in the Scotland Food & Drink Export Plan.
“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 through our shared team of SF&D in-market specialists. I hope that participating companies will see strong business benefits as a result.”
Among the companies at the Scottish pavilion is Loch Fyne, which plans to debut its recently launched Makar Gin Infused Smoked Salmon on the global market. Cameron Brown, managing director of Loch Fyne Oysters, said: “What better way to tell the global market about the diversity of Scotland’s larder than by combining two premium products with origins in our clear waters? Scotland’s natural environment is a real selling point for the global market, and we are confident that the buyers in Brussels will appreciate the distinct flavour combination we’re developed with The Glasgow Distillery Company.”
The 22 companies at the Scottish pavilion are: Associated Seafood; Caley Fisheries Ltd; Campbells & Co Smokehouse Ltd; Cooke Aquaculture; Dawnfresh Seafoods; Highland Smoked Salmon; International Fish Canners; JK Thomson; Loch Duart; Loch Fyne Oysters; Lunar Freezing and Cold Storage Company Limited; Marine Products Scotland; Nor-Sea Foods; Scotprime Seafoods Ltd; Scottish Quality Salmon; Scottish Seafarms; Scottish Seas; St James Smokehouse (Scotland) Limited; The Crab Company (Scotland) Ltd; The Scottish Salmon Company; Wester Ross Salmon; Whitelink Seafoods.