A total of 46 Scottish companies have travelled across the water to do business and exhibit their produce at the seafood sector’s biggest global stage.
Companies which operate in the Highlands and Islands exhibiting on the Scottish Pavilion are: Associated Seafoods; Cooke Aquaculture; The Scottish Salmon Company; Loch Duart; Loch Fyne Oysters; Highland Smoked Salmon; Scottish Sea Farms; and Wester Ross Fisheries.
The Scottish delegation this year has grown by around 40% compared to 2016, on the back of the success of last year’s event. Loch Fyne plans to debut its recently launched Makar Gin Infused Smoked Salmon on the global market.
Cameron Brown, managing director of Loch Fyne Oysters, said: “What better way to tell the global market about the diversity of Scotland’s larder than by combining two premium products with origins in our clear waters? Scotland’s natural environment is a real selling point for the global market, and we are confident that the buyers in Brussels will appreciate the distinct flavour combination we’re developed with The Glasgow Distillery Company.”
Additionally, the Scottish seafood sector has just returned from a successful visit to Boston (March), where opportunities to sell more Scottish seafood into the fiercely competitive US market were secured, and deals done for several delegates at SENA (Seafood Expo North America).
These activities have contributed towards a record year for Scottish food and drink exports which are at a new high of £5.5 billion – a rise from 2015 of 8% and up 56% since 2007. Within this performance, Scottish seafood accounts for around £759m.
Seafood Expo Global in Brussels, as well as being an important base for the European market, attracts buyers from all over the world. With food exports from Scotland to Asia rising over 400% since 2007, this means that it is a crucial three days for the Scottish sector, and can have a significant impact on the year’s trading across all international markets.
Iain Sutherland, HIE’s senior development manager, said: “The Seafood Expo is a great opportunity for the region’s companies to showcase their produce and boost exports by gaining access to new markets. In partnership with Scottish Development International we have been supporting many of the attendees to enter new markets, developing the skills, knowledge and confidence to grow their businesses overseas.”
Susan Beattie, head of food & drink at SDI, concludes: “It’s great to see such a strong delegation of companies attending the show this year - we have a record 22 exhibitors on the Scottish Pavilion, all showcasing their fantastic range of top quality seafood products to an influential international audience. This is a key show for our industry, attracting buyers from all eight top prospect markets in the Scotland Food & Drink Export Plan.
“We are supporting companies to make the most of this opportunity – through organising the Scottish Pavilion along with Seafood Scotland and by providing market insights and making connections with potential buyers through our shared team of SF&D in-market specialists. I hope that participating companies will see strong business benefits as a result.”