SSPO Chief Executive speaks to BBC Radio Scotland about the importance of quality leading to record salmon export figures

Scott Landsburgh, Chief Executive, Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO), was interviewed for BBC Radio Scotland’s ‘Good Morning Scotland’ programme on Monday 14th August 2017, coinciding with the release of HMRC figures which showed record high Scottish salmon exports worth £346 million for the first half of 2017 – a 70% increase in export values from the same period in 2016.

Reflecting on the figures, Landsburgh explained that the industry in Scotland had worked very hard recently to address and successfully adapt to environmental issues associated with Atlantic salmon production, enabling it to deliver enough product to satisfy increased demand, following challenges in doing so in previous years.

He attributed increases in demand for Scottish salmon in global markets to a growing world population and greater worldwide demand for healthy food in general, adding that Scottish salmon was on course to become the UK’s largest food export in 2017.

Within the latest figures, the Far East was identified as being a particularly strong growth area for Scottish salmon exports, with its dynamic economy and emerging middle classes increasingly attracted to high quality, premium food products.

He reiterated that whilst fast-growing markets, particularly those in Asia, would be catered for by a number of major salmon-producing countries, in addition to Scotland, Scottish salmon was still recognised as a “premium” product within the global farmed salmon sector, a status achieved as a result of hard work to emphasise the high quality of the Scottish environment.

Additionally, whilst he acknowledged that the UK’s departure from the European Union was a “challenge” given the importance of the EU as an export market, and that the industry did not yet know the exact position it would be facing once the UK exits, Landsburgh said he expected the final outcome to be “sufficient” to keep growing export markets. He stressed that the paramount concern for the industry in any post-Brexit arrangements was ensuring a “frictionless border” for exports between the UK and the European Single Market, allowing fresh product to continue being delivered to market within 24 hours.

Coverage on the topic, including the interview, from 14:41 to 18:20.