RECORD sales of Scottish farmed salmon to the US last year hit almost £215 million.
This is the fifth successive year that America has been the leading destination for Scottish salmon and represents an increase of almost 40 per cent on the 2012 figure of £155 million US sales.
Scott Landsburgh, chief executive of Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation (SSPO), said: ‘These impressive figures are the result of the fantastic reputation our salmon enjoys in the USA.
‘Quality and Scottish provenance are key to the American market. Major retail chains and high end restaurants are delighted with the salmon we supply from Scotland.
‘The industry has been supported by Scottish Development International (SDI) to open more market opportunities for Scottish salmon, making the USA our largest export market.’
Landsburgh was speaking ahead of the international Seafood Expo in Boston, at which the Scottish salmon sector will be meeting buyers from the US’s top retail and food service companies.
Susan Beattie, head of food and drink at Scottish Development International, said: ‘It’s great to hear that salmon has performed so well on exports in 2014 – this reflects the growing international demand for quality Scottish produce.’
Craig Anderson, managing director of the Scottish Salmon Company, who is also heading to Boston said: ‘The Seafood North America Expo in Boston is a key date in our diary. Our involvement in the event enables us to build and develop relationships with new and existing clients, as well as providing the perfect platform to showcase our premium Scottish salmon to the American market.
‘The North American market has a strong and well established appreciation for quality salmon and, as one of the leading producers of Scotland’s finest salmon, the region is a key focus for us to further develop our export sales and support the demand for our premium products.’
But Scott Landsburgh said the industry had to keep pace with demand: ‘The industry, with support from the Scottish government, has set a production target of 210,000 tonnes by 2020, to be achieved through sustainable growth, year on year.
‘In order to reach this target, industry needs planning permissions to open new sites or to modify what’s already there.
‘These approvals are not keeping pace, putting growth at risk. Competition from other salmon producing nations is fierce and we are mindful they are waiting in the wings to claim their share of the market.’