Help for Scotland's seafood processors

SEAFOOD Scotland launched a new project this week to help Scotland’s processing industry to increase their offering of added value products, whilst also reducing the costs of production and route to market.
The initiative is funded by and delivered on behalf of the Scottish Seafood Partnership, for whom it is a key component of an industry development strategy.
To help deliver the project, fish technology and innovation experts have been recruited throughout the UK, to advise individual businesses in Scotland on how to improve their output.
They will also promote industry co-operation in joint innovation projects.
In the past few years, Seafood Scotland has successfully delivered two similar projects funded by the European Fisheries Fund, which helped to add value to products and processes, whilst creating or safeguarding jobs in fishing dependent communities, and substantially increasing turnover for participants.
This latest initiative will help 25 companies, by providing up to £2,000 each to fund the services of seafood experts, with the businesses themselves contributing 20 per cent towards the costs.
Assistance is available for a wide variety of projects, including new product or packaging development, branding and marketing, e-commerce, food photography and nutritional analysis of products.
Help is also available with factory design, production efficiencies, process or work flow design, use of new technology, and coaching towards standards such as BRC, SALSA and higher level food safety, as well as initiatives to utilise or reduce waste.
Nolan Seafoods in Aberdeen benefitted from taking part in a previous project, by making considerable savings on their water usage and effluent disposal, after working with a specialist consultant.
‘Our project helped to educate management staff and key workers how to reduce water usage without affecting quality or machine performance’, said Doug Rennie.
‘And this has now become second nature in the factory. The result is that our water usage and effluent costs are back in line with expectations.’
Ian MacSween, Chair of the Scottish Seafood Partnership said: ‘This type of support is particularly valued by small to medium sized companies who do not have the expertise available in-house.
‘We are keen to see Scotland’s seafood processing industry maximise the return from landings by becoming more efficient, whilst developing its full potential by offering more value added products and participating in collaborative supply chain initiatives.
‘The new project will go a long way towards helping to achieve this.’