Strategy for Scottish seafood – Fishfarmer Magazine

Strategy for Scottish seafood 25 February, 2014 – Richard Lochhead

SCOTLAND’S seafood sector can position itself as a world leading provider thanks to its premium quality products, according to the Rural Affairs Secretary.

Richard Lochhead today announced £700,000 in Scottish government funding to back an industry action plan to achieve a more profitable and sustainable seafood sector.

The report from the Scottish Seafood Partnership, which brings together representatives from the fisheries, aquaculture and processing sectors, has identified six key areas to further enhance the industry’s reputation and market reach:

1. Quality, standards and provenance – to position Scotland as a world leading provider of premium quality seafood.

2. Market development – identifying and capitalising on markets that offer the greatest potential for growth.

3. Collaboration and effective supply chains – the industry will share knowledge and information, as well as strengthening the supply chain.

4. Skilled workforce – providing excellent training and career opportunities for those already in the industry, and those interested in joining.

5. Financial and legal relationships – improve access to finances and review planning processes to ensure businesses can respond to commercial opportunities quickly.

6. Forecasting and horizon scanning – developing strategies to ensure the industry develops future leaders and identifies and promotes innovation.

Mr Lochhead said: ‘Scotland’s seafood sector is already one of our great strengths and Scottish seafood has already achieved much in building its reputation as a product renowned the world over for its pristine quality.

‘I’m fully behind the industry as a whole to take these actions forward, and to that end I am pleased to confirm Government investment of £700,000 between now and March 2015 to underpin this plan.

‘This plan places seafood firmly where it belongs – as an integral and central part of the success story which is Scotland’s food and drink sector.

I’m confident it will build on this strong base to achieve an ever more sustainable and profitable seafood sector.’

Iain MacSween, chair of the Scottish Seafood Partnership, said: ‘The Scottish seafood sector is delighted that our Food Minister Richard Lochhead is committing to a plan which we believe strengthens the future, and the potential, of one of Scotland’s oldest industries.

‘The successful implementation of the recommendations in this report are so important to the entire seafood supply chain and we now have the opportunity to work together and push this crucial industry forward.’