‘Changing Tides’ to Drive Scotland’s Seafood Growth Ambitions

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‘Changing Tides’ to Drive Scotland’s Seafood Growth Ambitions

‘Changing Tides’ to Drive Scotland’s Seafood Growth Ambitions
May 13
11:52 2019

Seafood Scotland has launched ‘Changing Tides’ – a strategic action plan designed to be a catalyst for change in Scotland’s seafood sector. The action plan is designed to deliver a strategy for the growth of the Scottish seafood sector. The strategic plan for collaboration, sustainable change and growth fits within Scotland Food & Drink ‘Ambition 2030’ – which aims to double the value of food and drink to £30 billion.

Patrick Hughes, head of Seafood Scotland, says: “Changing Tides is the beginning of a process – to clearly set out the steps required to help the Scottish seafood sector reach its long-term potential. Our reputation for quality and sustainability has seen Scottish seafood travel all over the world, and with additional support from partners at home, the industry can sustain the status quo and go on to achieve significant growth.”

The report includes 18 actions for the sector, to be delivered by several industry bodies including industry representative associations, enterprise bodies and local and national Government, and aims to bring about change under four key themes of: Market development and brand; Investment and innovation; People and skills; and Supply chain.

Patrick Hughes continues: “This plan underlines the long-term nature of our industry. Brexit, or at least the ongoing negotiation, is happening now – but this action plan sets out a clear strategy for the next few years. Irrespective of what’s happening this year, the undertakings laid out in Changing Tides are necessary to move the industry forward. Without action we will be unable to realise the industry’s full potential.”

Scottish seafood’s reputation is global, reaching to Brussels, Boston, Beijing and beyond. Recent figures show that around 466,000 tonnes of fish is landed per year in Scotland, and along with just under 200,000 tonnes of farmed seafood, the value equates to around £560 million. Around 64% of the UK fishing fleet is Scottish, but the economic impact of their catch goes much further, with 8,380 processing jobs across 150 sites, and a further 12,000 jobs supported by the wider aquaculture sector.

James Withers, chief executive of Scotland Food & Drink, says: “The Scottish seafood industry is a key driver in the economy. It is the star player in Scotland’s food export journey with a growing strength of reputation. However, there are still real opportunities to be grasped in international markets as well as across the UK. This plan reflects the ambition of the entire food and drink industry in Scotland. There is a £30 billion prize out there by 2030 for Scottish food and drink.  This new vision and roadmap for our seafood industry will mean it plays one of the most significant roles in unlocking that huge opportunity.”

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