SEAFOOD Scotland, the organisation that promotes the industry in the global market, has appointed a new chief.
Patrick Hughes, who takes up his new role this month, joins from SAC Consulting, part of Scotland’s Rural College, where he was senior food and drink consultant.
Hughes graduated from the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen and spent more than 20 years working in the seafood sector across the north-east, with experience as a seafood producer and supplier.
He led the Scottish government funded Think Local programme, followed by Connect Local, Scotland’s local food and drink marketing advisory service launched in July 2016.
Of his new role at Seafood Scotland, he said: ‘I am particularly looking forward to tackling some of the significant challenges facing the seafood sector over the next couple of years.
‘In an ever changing landscape, we don’t yet know what form these challenges will take, so we will need to be adaptable, nimble and receptive to the opportunities that change could bring.
‘My remit is to transform Seafood Scotland into a sustainable organisation that will continue to support and grow the sector whilst working closely with the wider food and drink industry, and I relish the opportunity to be at the head of the organisation at such a transformative time.’
Seafood Scotland, which was set up in 1999, operates worldwide, alongside government agencies such as Scottish Development International, to promote the wealth of Scottish seafood to a global trade market.
Focusing on restaurant and catering trade deals, the organisation targets trade buyers, wholesalers, industry influencers and chefs in the US, Europe (including the rest of the UK), the Middle East and Asia – acting as the conduit between in-country trade markets and Scottish suppliers.
Iain Macsween, chairman of Seafood Scotland, said of Hughes’ appointment: ‘Patrick’s knowledge of the seafood sector, alongside his experience of helping businesses develop and grow, made him the natural choice for the role.
‘The Seafood Scotland board looks forward to working with Patrick not only to develop further international opportunities for Scotland’s seafood industry, but also to grow the home market – encouraging chefs and trade suppliers in the UK to source top quality seafood from domestic shores.’