Scottish seafood companies secured deals which could be worth an additional £5.5m in annual sales to North America last week.
Contracts signed by Associated Seafoods and Mara Seaweed will give them access to supermarkets and restaurants across the USA. As a result, the former (which specialises in shellfish and smoked salmon) predicts its North American business to grow to £4-5 million over next 18 months, with opportunities in Canada progressing. Meanwhile Mara forecasts its newly-launched Mara Seaweed Butter will bring in an additional £300,000 of business by the end of 2017, with a further £500,000 from foodservice in 2018.
The seaweed producer is confident that this, along with the launch of their existing seasoning range into the US retail sector and online later this spring, will allow their export sales to the US grow by an additional 300 per cent in 2017. Meanwhile, the Scottish Salmon Company has seen US sales double in the first three months of 2017.
The news comes as it was announced that Scotland’s total food and drink exports to North America reached £1 billion in 2016, with the US topping food and drink export markets. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon welcomed the news during a food and drink showcase to over 100 North American buyers and industry influencers in New York on April 6th.
The First Minister said: “Scotland’s food and drink sector remains one of our strongest export markets and the latest figures show how important North American business is to our producers. The news that Scottish business is thriving and securing multi-million pound contracts is fantastic, and it is especially encouraging to see so many independent businesses doing so well. The links between Scotland and the USA have always been strong, and today’s announcement shows that they will continue for years to come.”
Craig Anderson, CEO of The Scottish Salmon Company, who was also present at the New York event, told The Fish Site: “We are focused on exports with special attention to sales to the US, which is a key part of our strategy. We already exporting approximately 50% of our production with a value of $64M USD to 25 countries worldwide.
“The opportunities for Scottish producers in the North American marketplace are significant and we have doubled sales to this key territory in the first three months of 2017 alone. American customers are passionate about consistent high quality and provenance, both of which we passionately deliver along with the unique Scottish salmon’s PGI status which guarantees the birth place of our salmon.
“We were proud to exhibit our company and our produce at the recent Boston Seafood Expo and I’m delighted to say that the response we received was overwhelmingly positive. We are establishing and building our US partnerships, developing and expanding our range of products whilst exploring all opportunities for our flagship export products - Label Rouge and Native Hebridean Salmon - the latter being an exclusive and unique salmon bred from wild stock, raised and farmed only in the Hebridean Islands in cold, fresh seas in the far northwest of Scotland.”