The latest figures released by HMRC show that in the past three months alone, 21,000 tonnes of fresh salmon, worth £136 million, were exported – up 29 percent in value and 25 percent in volume over the same period last year.
France overtook the USA as the largest market, with sales worth nearly £45 million. This year, Scottish salmon celebrated the 25th anniversary of being awarded the French Government’s prestigious Label Rouge for taste and quality. Although the USA was pipped to the post for top export market, it still recorded sales of just over £37 million while China was worth £14 million. East Asian markets continue to grow too, with Taiwan making it into the top five markets with sales of £6.5 million.
“The demand for Scottish salmon continues to grow in recognition of its taste, quality and provenance,” said Scott Landsburgh, Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO) chief executive. “It is evident that the production standards and commitment to quality are fully recognised around the world, and no more so than in France. It is fitting that as we celebrate 25 years of holding the Label Rouge award sales in France have reached an all-time high. Arguably, France is the most discerning culinary nation in the world and it has been a marvellous tribute to everyone who works on our salmon farms that, year after year, the French inspectors have rewarded us with this accolade.
“The continuing export success of Scottish salmon is a trail-blazer for other Scottish food overseas and a major contributor to rural Scotland. Our achievement means that young people, communities and local suppliers all benefit from the economic success.”
"These phenomenal figures show the growing demand for Scotland’s high quality, premium food and drink products across the world,” added James Withers, Chief Executive of Scotland Food & Drink. "Scotland is now home to the UK’s biggest drink export in Scotch whisky and the biggest food export in Scottish salmon. They continue to lead the way.
"The growth in overseas markets is testament to the hard work of our trade specialists based across North America, Europe, the Middle East and Far East. They are opening doors with leading buyers and forging new opportunities for our Scottish food and drink companies. As a result, 2017 is shaping up to be another export record-breaker for food and drink.
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “Scottish salmon is an iconic product and these latest export figures reflect the strength of the industry and the potential it has to grow further. The EU remains the biggest single regional market for Salmon, importing salmon worth £215 million in the first nine months of 2017.
“I was delighted to be able to support the industry at the Label Rouge 25th anniversary celebrations earlier this year and it is fantastic to see the growth in exports to France.
“It is clear that continued access to the EU single market is vitally important to the future of our food and drink sector and to the Scottish economy.
“We will continue to work with industry to develop new and existing markets and in line with Scotland’s Food and Drink 2030 ambition, focus on key markets, boost innovation, focus on skills and support local producers to realise our ambitious plans.”