Scottish seafood exports, up 23%, face Brexit “devastation”

News
613

The value of Scottish exports of seafood rose 23 percent in 2017 and reached GBP 944 million, the office of Rural Economy Minister, Fergus Ewing, announced Wednesday.

In a decade, Scottish fish and seafood exports have more than doubled from 2007’s GBP 448 million.

Ewing warned, however, that much of that implied wealth was now at risk of disappearing. London’ Brexit negotiations have so far failed to secure the “soft exit” from the European Union — a tariff-free customs union or the status quo on trade — meant trouble could lie ahead.

“The continuing uncertainty surrounding the UK Government’s Brexit plans, and the prospect of losing tariff free access to that market would be potentially devastating for our food and drink industry,” Ewing said.

The government pinched another potential Brexit nerve Wednesday afternoon, when it said seafood products’ protected food name status, or PFN — a form of EU-wide legal protection against imitation — could be jeopardized. Inexplicably, for some, the government stated that, “on average”, PFN status increases a product’s value by 2.23 times.

“As well as the potential loss of the price premium, loss of PFN protection for Scottish seafood products post-Brexit also risks imitation products entering the market,” a statement said.

SalmonBusiness has, in recent months, documented Scottish salmon producers’ efforts to protect the Scottish brand in general, and their own European Brands in particular. Investments have included more branding in key markets and traceability software.