SCOTLAND’S seafood sector will be on display to thousands of industry professionals as the world’s biggest seafood trade fair gets underway today.
After a two-year break due to Covid-19, Team Scotland return to the Seafood Expo Global, which this year takes place in Barcelona.
Organised by Scottish Development International (SDI) and supported by Seafood Scotland and Salmon Scotland, the Scotland Pavilion will have 16 firms exhibiting their products.
A further 11 Scottish seafood companies will have their own stands at the trade fair, which will be attended by the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands, Mairi Gougeon.
More than 29,000 buyers, suppliers and other sector representatives from 155 countries attended the last Expo in 2019.
This year, organisers anticipate that the fair will have more than 2,000 exhibiting companies representing over 85 countries.
Ms Gougeon said: “Scotland’s seafood industry is a major success story, producing world-class low-carbon food that is enjoyed at home and abroad, with exports increasing by £144m compared to 2020 and contributing £1.3bn to the Scottish economy annually.
“At the same time, our sustainable fisheries management plans demonstrate our commitment to supporting a resilient seafood sector which provides important employment opportunities across our coastal communities.
“I am delighted to have the opportunity to showcase our products to a key audience and share our expertise with international industry leaders.”
The economic impact of the Scotland Pavilion at the 2019 event estimated that sales would increase by £67.25m over the next three years.
While this target was pre-Covid and disrupted by the pandemic, SDI trade officials are confident that the same figure will be matched as a result of Scotland’s participation in the 2022 Expo.
Ewen Cameron, Global Head of Trade – Consumer Industries – at SDI said: “The Seafood Expo Global offers a unique opportunity for Scottish seafood and salmon companies to engage in-person with existing export clients, build new relationships and explore opportunities for growth in new markets.
“SDI is delighted to work with our partners across the public and private sectors to showcase Scotland as a premium seafood producer at the industry’s leading event of the year.
“Covid-19 and Brexit have undoubtedly presented challenges for seafood exporters, but the resilience these firms have shown has been inspiring.
“This week’s Expo will allow Scotland’s seafood sector to return to the international stage and highlight that its world-class reputation for quality remains fully intact.”
Alongside the produce on display, the Scotland Pavilion will showcase a wide range of seafood and salmon at Seafood Scotland’s demonstration kitchen.
It will also be a special moment for salmon producers as the sector celebrates the 30th anniversary of Scottish Salmon achieving Label Rouge Accreditation.
Tavish Scott, Chief Executive of Salmon Scotland, said: “We’re proud to be part of Team Scotland and are relishing the opportunity to showcase Scottish salmon in Barcelona.
“This comes in the year that we celebrate the 30th anniversary of Scottish salmon securing the prestigious Label Rouge quality mark.
“For three decades, our farmers have worked hard to deliver the exceptional quality that meets the strictest standards required, with our unique natural environment making Scottish salmon truly special.
“Scottish salmon is an international success story, delivering hundreds of millions of pounds for the Scottish economy and generating thousands of jobs, and we look forward to continued sustainable growth.”
Natalie Bell, Head of Trade Marketing for Seafood Scotland, added: “As the first Seafood Expo Global since the pandemic and post-Brexit, we are anticipating a positive atmosphere and a high level of interest in Scottish seafood, and we will be working hard to turn that interest into sales.
“We will be focusing on promoting Scotland’s premium seafood including our highly sought-after shellfish, salmon, white fish and pelagic species to both existing and new contacts.
“Seafood Expo Global is a prime opportunity to showcase the wide array of species available from our coastline to new faces and to finally reconnect with old friends.
“Seafood Expo Global is the largest seafood marketplace in the world, and it’s great to be back.”