SCOTLAND’S largest salmon farmer is looking to expand sales to Asia this year as uncertainty over Brexit raises the prospect of tariffs on European trade.
Mowi, formerly Marine Harvest, exported 32 per cent of its volume – out of a total of 47 per cent exports – to Europe in 2017, said head of sales Georgina Wright.
Wright, who chairs a working group organised by the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation (SSPO) to help the industry prepare for Brexit, told her company’s January newsletter (The Scoop): ‘We have been in discussions with both Westminster and Holyrood to underline the importance of our products and frictionless trade, and I would like to take the opportunity to explain the potential impact of Brexit on our business.
‘Scottish salmon is the single largest food export for both the UK and Scotland. The EU is a very important market for us and we currently enjoy frictionless trade.
‘France is the largest country sale of these EU exports, enjoying both our regular Scottish salmon and our premium priced Label Rouge product range.
‘If we revert to the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) rules, then fresh whole Scottish salmon will have a tariff of two per cent for exports to EU member states.
‘Of course, we will continue to lobby hard for frictionless trade post Brexit, but for me, 2019 will be focused on opening up new markets outside the EU, increasing our market share in current non-EU markets such as China and the US, whilst maintaining strong relationships with our customers here in the UK, which is still our biggest market.
‘I see a lot of opportunities in markets such as Japan, Korea, UAE to name a few, but also we will continue to work with our European customers even if this carries a tariff.’
Wright said Mowi’s Scottish fish carries a premium and the company recently agreed to supply the French retailer Auchan with a significant volume in 2019, of both Label Rouge and standard premium salmon.
‘We are well placed for 2019 with a mix of existing and new customers; a good balance of spot and contract sales, and overall, global demand for salmon continues to grow,’ said Wright.
To read the January issue of The Scoop visit https://mowiscotland.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/January-2019-newsletter-optimised.pdf
Picture: Mowi head of sales Georgina Wright