SCOTLAND, UK - A delegation of Scottish fish and seafood suppliers and producers have arrived in China to participate in the China Fisheries & Seafood Expo 2014, held in Qingdao, Shandong Province. The three-day visit is intended to consolidate existing partnerships with Asian companies and explore new business opportunities for Scottish processors and suppliers within the lucrative Asian market.
The China Expo is the largest seafood trade fair in Asia, and the second largest in the world. With over 1,200 exhibitors and around 22,000 visitors attending from across the globe, it represents a significant opportunity for Scottish seafood suppliers to meet and do business with some of the world’s most influential buyers.
The Scottish delegation comprises a range of home-grown seafood companies and four Scottish chefs, who will be showing off the simplicity of our quality products, as well as cooking up a Scots feast designed for Chinese audiences, using a specially created show-kitchen.
The chefs will provide a culinary show with on-site cooking demonstrations and tastings of a mix of premium seafood from Scotland, including scallops, brown crab, mackerel, herring, salmon, haddock and langoustine.
China is highlighted in the Scottish Food and Drink Export Plan as a top prospect market, and seafood and salmon take a considerable lead in terms of food exports to this market. This makes the China Seafood Expo fundamental to the business growth strategies of Scottish food and drink companies.
“China is a top ten export destination for Scottish food, so the opportunity for some of our homegrown producers to target this region is huge,” said Susan Beattie, head of food & drink at Scottish Development International.
“We know that Chinese consumers already appreciate Scotch whisky, shortbread and other premium grocery products, and now we’re thrilled to be taking some of our top fish and seafood producers to Qingdao for this year’s seafood show.”
One of the main offerings from Scotland at this year’s show is a range of pelagic fish, including mackerel. Pelagic fishing is embedded into Scotland’s heritage, with knowledge and experience passed down through generations to create the thriving, world-class industry we see today.
Scott Landsburgh, chief executive of the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation, said: “The Far East has presented significant opportunities for Scottish salmon in recent years and we continue to perform well in this extremely buoyant market. Exports of Scottish salmon doubled in value between 2012 and 2013, most significantly, China grew from virtually nothing in 2010 to almost £50 million in 2013.
“The growing middle classes who increasingly look for premium and healthy food are driving demand, proving that our provenance, traceability and exceptional quality are a winning formula. China has become our third largest export market over this short period and demonstrates how producing a quality premium food can reap significant rewards.”
The attraction of Scottish produce to Chinese buyers is not just the provenance of the Scottish brand. Short processing times, exceeding sustainable standards and a totally transparent and traceable supply chain all ensure that the quality Scottish products are viewed as premium in China, and across the rest of Asia.
Graham Young, head of Seafood Scotland, part of the Scottish Seafood Collaborative Group, said: “Scotland has seen its seafood exports grow steadily over the past seven years, rising from £448m in 2007 to £552m in 2013. This is an exciting trend, which is a result of the industry’s hard work to build a reputation as a producer of high quality, traceable and world class seafood.
“China alone an increasingly important destination for our products, with exports worth £22.5m in 2013, up almost 24 per cent from £18.2m in 2012 and up 548 per cent from £4.1m in 2007.
“The work we do to raise awareness of Scottish seafood in Asian markets is vitally important to the industry in Scotland, and as long as we continue to build contacts and familiarity with the quality products Scotland has on offer, exports will continue to rise.”
TheFishSite News Desk