Scottish seafood ‘open for business’


SCOTTISH seafood companies were hoping to secure millions of pounds of new business as the Seafood Expo got underway in Brussels this morning.
Some 21 Scottish companies have stand space within the Scotland pavilion in Hall 9, while an additional 21 firms are attending independently, all vying for new export contracts.
Last year, Scottish businesses identified new opportunities worth a predicted £33 million, a figure they are aiming to exceed this year’s exhibition.
The Scottish delegation was joined by Fergus Ewing, the Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity, who provided a significant boost to the trading activity by meeting key political figures and influential international buyers interested in sourcing fish and seafood from Scottish companies. 
\’It\’s great to have the opportunity to showcase Scotland\’s world famous seafood products to buyers across the globe, at what is the biggest annual event in this industry,\’ said Ewing.
‘Scottish seafood exports were worth £944 million last year – making a big contribution to a record £6 billion year for food and drink exports. ‘That’s largely down to the endeavours of some great Scottish companies who catch, grow and process fantastic Scottish products.
‘In spite of the uncertainty being caused by Brexit, our message in Brussels this week is that Scotland is very much still open for business – with the EU and other international markets.’
Patrick Hughes, head of Seafood Scotland, which coordinates the delegation alongside Scottish Development International, said: ‘In 2017, Scottish seafood exporters added around £176 million of new business, some sparked by meetings that take place at the key expos in Brussels, Tokyo and Boston. 
‘The Scottish shellfish, salmon, white fish and pelagic producers and growers that invest in coming to Brussels are serious about doing business. 
‘They will have the opportunity to meet influential buyers from all over the world, who are seeking reliable supplies of clean, sustainable and traceable fish and seafood – and Scotland can meet that brief better than most. 
‘The impact will show in next year’s figures – but, put simply, what happens here over three days will have a significant impact on incomes, jobs and local communities across Scotland.’
Susan Beattie, head of food and drink at Scottish Development International, said: ‘This event is a fantastic opportunity to showcase Scotland’s globally acclaimed seafood products and bring some of our most ambitious exporters together with retail and foodservice customers from around the world.
‘This type of exhibition can make a real difference to companies looking to make those all important connections with global buyers and it’s great to be able to support companies on this journey.’


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