The two year project resulted in 22 major new customers gained, 18 new products launched, and six certifications/accreditations achieved. 48 full time and eight part time jobs were created, and 204 full time and 17 part time jobs were secured.
It was co-funded by the European Commission, the Scottish Government via the European Fisheries Fund, Aberdeenshire Council and Highlands & Islands Enterprise, with support from Seafish.
“Seafood Scotland worked with 119 companies to offer business and market development support, market insight and intelligence, quality, environmental and technical support, and assistance in raising standards,” said Graham Young Head of Seafood Scotland.
“The project was very successful and the results will help individual companies to continue the development of their businesses. The value of new sales generated by the programme was just under £4 million”
Derek McDonald, Rural and Maritime Industry Support Executive for Aberdeenshire Council said: “Given the importance of the fisheries sector to the local economy and the highly competitive international markets in which our seafood companies operate, Aberdeenshire Council was very happy to support this excellent business development project.”
The project aimed to promote competitiveness and profitability in the Scottish Seafood sector, develop new markets, maximise opportunities in existing markets, raise awareness of Scottish seafood to buyers, maximise efficiencies, reduce wastage, and maximise the value of the catch.
Participating businesses invested £2.7 million of their own capital in delivering project activities.
Rob Mitchell, Commercial Director for SSMG, said: “The support we received from the programme was incredibly useful, as it enabled us to develop new and eye-catching multi-lingual packaging for some of our export retail customers. This packaging has been well received by these European customers and has helped us grow the business.”
Derek Hutchings, Managing Director of Nolan Seafoods, was also delighted with the assistance his company received. “We gained MSC Chain of Custody certification, and put our management team through training on the MSC standard to ensure that the audit trail was properly in place in the factory. We also gained valuable insight during the training on the wider aspects of sustainability, which has helped us to put across the right messages across to our buyers and suppliers,” he stated.
The programme proved to be so successful, that an additional funding package has been put in place to offer support for Scottish seafood businesses through to March 2015.