Scottish salmon exports leap to £500m and the top of UK food export league



SalmonScottish salmon has become the most exported British food after raking in £500million in overseas sales for the first time last year.

Figures released by industry body the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation (SSPO) yesterday showed the total value of exports of the fish jumped by 11 per cent, or £50 million last year which saw it leap to the top of the UK food export league.

The SSPO said Scottish salmon, while once again Scotland’s No 1 food export, it was the first time it had also become the UK’s biggest food export.

The news confirmed a top ranking for the fish revealed by the Food and Drink Federation in March.

Production of Scottish salmon was in excess of 160,000 tonnes during 2014 and it was enjoyed in more than 65 counties, SSPO added.

Food Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “Scotland is blessed with an outstanding natural larder, and these latest figures highlight the increasing global appetite for the premium and sustainable salmon and seafood produced in our pristine waters.

“Seafood Global Expo is the ideal platform to showcase to international buyers the top-quality and award-winning salmon and seafood Scotland has to offer.”

According to SSPO, the US remained the top export destination for Scottish salmon last year after sales grew to nearly £215million.

In France, the second biggest market, a 55 per cent jump in sales by volume saw the total value of annual exports rise to £110millon.

China – an important emerging market – continued to return “amazing growth” from virtually nothing in 2011 to sales totaling £65million after a 4 per cent jump in volumes last year, SSPO said.

Scott Landsburgh
Scott Landsburgh

SSPO chief executive Scott Landsburgh said the latest figures “prove how demand continues to go from strength to strength”.

Scotland Food and Drink chief executive James Withers added: “Scottish farmed salmon is a huge success story now and it is a great model for other food exports to follow.

“The industry has embraced world-class production standards and developed a product that can surpass the competition anywhere.

But he warned: “Growth can only continue if new development consents are approved.

“Competition from other salmon producing countries is fierce and they are always ready to claim a greater share of the marketplace.”

Seven Scottish salmon farming companies – Scottish Sea Farms, the Scottish Salmon Company, Marine Harvest Scotland, Cooke Aquaculture Scotland, Wester Ross Salmon, Loch Duart Salmon and Scottish Quality Salmon – are in Brussels for the expo.