The Scottish Government is supporting the seafood sector with a 240,000 grant to take forward a range of initiatives to target new markets. Latest figures for fresh farmed salmon exports reveal sales in the Far East rocketed last year up nearly 900 per cent, from 682 tonnes to 6,779 tonnes demonstrating the growing demand for Scottish seafood from new marketplaces.
Activities in emerging markets to maximise opportunities for Scottish seafood will include:
- Educational and networking session with hotel chains, restaurant groups, chefs and buyers;
- Holding Scottish Seafood Weeks in identified cities, aimed at both consumers and the food industry;
- Awareness building and product sampling sessions in supermarkets, as well as point of sale product merchandising to promote all Scottish seafood sectors;
- Developing a seafood marketing toolkit to help Scottish businesses promote their products in the Asian marketplace;
- Targeted advertising in trade and specialist publications and a greater online and social media presence;
- Sponsorship at food events and culinary competitions.
With match-funding from Scottish Development International, Seafood Scotland, Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation, Scottish Quality Salmon and Seafish bringing the spend available to 480,000, a working group will now be established to oversee all activities.
Rural Affairs and Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead announced the funding as he met with emerging markets representatives at the European Seafood Expo in Brussels. Mr Lochhead said: Scotland has a natural larder second to none and fish and shellfish are a key part of our offering. With steady year-on-year growth in exports, seafood sales were up four per cent last year. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg and there are substantial new markets opening up, particularly for our premium products.
Im pleased to support this new initiative to target more opportunities for Scottish seafood companies in emerging markets, particularly the Far East. Much of this work is educational and awareness building and we have a great story to tell with our delicious and nutritious fish and shellfish."
Scott Landsburgh, Chief Executive of Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation and Scottish Quality Salmon said: Scottish salmon has recorded impressive market growth in a number of new emerging markets, with exports to the Far East having increased nearly 900 per cent in the last twelve months. The high rate of growth of the sushi and sashimi markets offers huge further potential. The industry and match-funding will help to develop activities to strengthen our positions.
Anne MacColl Chief Executive of Scottish Development International added: The Asian market offers huge potential for Scottish food and drink companies and it is a very good fit for Scotlands strategic focus on premium products, health and provenance."