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Scottish Fishermen to Benefit from Learning Journey

06 May 2014

SCOTLAND, UK - Seafood Expo Global opens this week with nineteen companies exhibiting on the Scottish Pavilion at the world’s largest seafood show. This year Seafood Scotland is sponsoring a learning journey to the Expo for twelve young fishermen.

They will benefit from a presentation on the global seafood market, a briefing from a major UK retailer, and accompanied visits to several national pavilions to learn about other countries’ seafood industries.

The BBC country affairs programme Landward is following the fishermen on their trip, for a ‘seafood special’ to be broadcast next month.

“These young fishermen have never visited the Seafood Expo before, and are looking forward to learning what the wider seafood business is all about, explained Graham Young. “They represent the pelagic, whitefish and inshore fishing sectors, and come from all around the Scottish coast. We want to show them that their competition really is global, and that seafood quality is one of the most important marketing tools.”

At the heart of the Scottish Pavilion, Seafood Scotland is once again hosting a seafood bar. This offers a B2B environment where companies can meet customers, enjoy a tasty seafood platter prepared by a team of top Scottish chefs, learn more about the wider industry, and share ideas with the international seafood community.

“Scottish seafood has a key role to play in leading sustainable economic growth in the food and drink sector, and we anticipate a lot of interest from overseas buyers in the top quality seafood our chefs will be sampling,” said Graham Young, head of Seafood Scotland.

“We will also have experts available on fisheries, aquaculture, business development and marketing, to assist companies, and field sales enquiries.”

Scottish seafood exports represent a major proportion of overall food and drink exports. Scottish vessels account for approximately 66 per cent of the UK fleet, land roughly 70 per cent of the UK catch, and capture the bulk of the world's langoustine supplies. Scotland is also the world's third largest producer of farmed salmon, exporting to more than 60 international markets.

More than 25,000 seafood buyers attend the Expo, along with exhibitors from 75 countries. The Scottish Pavilion, organised by Scottish Development International, is one of the most popular and busy venues. In 2013, Scottish exhibitors reported additional international turnover for the next three years of just over £60 million, as a direct result of attending the Expo. This is a 50 per cent increase on the previous year, when additional sales of £40 million were reported.

Scottish Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead, who will visit the show, said: “The Seafood Expo is a great opportunity for Scottish companies to showcase their fabulous produce and boost exports by gaining access to new markets, which are the key theme of the Scottish Seafood Plan I launched in March.

“This year representatives from our premium inshore sector and active fishermen will be attending. I am really pleased that so many fishermen are coming to Brussels this year and I appreciate them taking the time away from sea to attend events like this. This is a great opportunity to learn and see more about the wider seafood industry and I look forward to meeting with them.”

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