Japanese market is the main catch for Scottish Seafood companies

Scottish companies and trade bodies come together to drive sales and reputation of Scottish salmon and seafood in the region.

In a bid to raise the profile of the wealth of quality Scottish salmon and seafood, producers have come together to form a formidable contingent at this week’s Japanese Seafood Exhibition, which attracts over 1,200 exhibitors and around 35,000 visitors.

As one of the largest consumers of seafood in the world, Japan is a crucial market for seafood businesses from across the globe. Scottish producers making the trip hope that their presence will serve to showcase the quality of seafood coming from the fresh, clear waters of Scotland, and in turn, encourage Japanese buyers to import.

Iain MacSween, Chief Executive of the Scottish Fisherman’s Organisation, and Chairman of Seafood Scotland, said:

“Political issues, such as the import ban in Russia, and more recently, logistical challenges at the Channel, have a significant impact on the seafood industry. However, it is important to remember that Scotland has some of the best seafood in the world. The companies heading to Japan this week are to be applauded for proactively developing new markets despite the challenges coming their way.

“The Japanese are some of the most sophisticated consumers in the world when it comes to seafood, and the reviews when we share Scottish produce with chefs and buyers are overwhelmingly positive. So, we look forward to building upon this response to deepen the relationship over the coming months.”

The Japanese Seafood Expo is held from 19-21 August in Tokyo, and is visited by trade buyers largely from wholesalers, distributors, retail and the restaurant trade.

Exports of Scottish fish and seafood to Japan have grown significantly since ‘team Scotland’ started actively marketing produce in the region. Since 2007, exports have grown by around 180%, and Scottish companies and trade bodies are confident that this is a continuing trend.

David Markham, Sales Director of The Blue Sea Food Company, said: “The Japanese are lovers of all seafood including crab. Crab and crab meat is imported from around the Asia region but currently little from Europe. The marketing by Seafood Scotland and SDI represents a fantastic opportunity for Scottish crab processors to enter this market and to boost sales throughout the region.”

Scottish seafood from all sectors of the industry is being taken to showcase to the Japanese market, and includes fresh salmon brown crab, mackerel, smoked salmon & smoked scallops, fresh scallops, smoked haddock and monkfish. Both Scottish and Japanese chefs will be working with the delegation to prepare their products both in Asian and Scottish culinary styles, demonstrating in particular how Scottish seafood can be used for more traditional Japanese cuisine, showing the versatility and great fit with a very different culinary culture.

Gilpin Bradley, one of four owners of Wester Ross Salmon, the oldest independent salmon farm in Scotland, said: “We’ve supplied the Japanese market for a few years, and they really appreciate our high quality sashimi grade Scottish Salmon. By improving our understanding of this important market, we’re keen to achieve increased volumes”

As part of the activity, an exclusive Scottish business dinner will be held at the British Embassy in Tokyo during the Expo. Hosted by Tim Hitchens, the British Ambassador to Japan, and Scottish Development International, the dinner will be attended by a range of Japanese and South Korean buyers and influencers from the food industry.

Susan Beattie, Head of Food and Drink at Scottish Development International, concludes: “Japan is one of our top prospect markets, with fantastic opportunities for seafood and other premium products. Along with our industry partners and Scottish Government, we have invested in an in-market specialist for Japan, complementing existing support from SDI’s Tokyo team. This means we can provide live market insights and build stronger connections with top chefs, retailers and distributors to help companies achieve their international ambitions.”

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Issued on behalf of the Scottish Seafood Collaborative Group by Clark Communications. For further information, please contact Lesley Brydon: 131 225 9596/ 07771 630834 / lesley@clarkcommunications.co.uk

Notes:
The Scottish Seafood Collaborative Group comprises Seafood Scotland – a delivery partner for Seafish in Scotland, Scottish Development International (SDI), Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO), Scottish Quality Salmon, the Scottish Pelagic Processors Association (SPPA), match-funded through the European Fisheries Fund.

The group aims to raise awareness of Scottish Seafood, educate buyers and maximise opportunities for Scottish seafood in emerging markets, focusing particularly on six key target cities: Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo and Singapore.

Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation is the representative body of Scottish salmon production. Scottish Quality Salmon is the promotional and management body for Label Rouge Scottish Salmon. Find out more: http://www.scottishsalmon.co.uk/

Seafood Scotland is a not-for-profit organisation set up and run by the Scottish seafood industry to help maximise the value of return to this vital sector. For more information visit: www.seafoodscotland.org

Scottish Development International (SDI) works to attract inward investment and knowledge to Scotland to help the economy grow. It also helps Scottish based companies to trade overseas and promotes Scotland as a good place to live, work and do business. It is a partnership between the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise and its work is guided by the Scottish Government’s strategy for economic development in Scotland. For more information go to: www.sdi.co.uk

We’ve supplied the Japanese market for a few years, and they really appreciate our high quality sashimi grade Scottish Salmon