French government to establish protocol over freight ban

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Busiest week of the year caught in perfect storm of COVID and Brexit.

ITV reporter Paul Brand has tweeted that the French Government will establish a protocol in the next few hours. This is to ensure movement from the UK can resume.

In a statement, the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO) called for swift action by the UK Government to press for freight to France to resume in the face of huge losses in the busiest week of the year.

France is the largest market for Scottish salmon with sales worth GBP 221 million last year.

“Plans for Operation Brock to prioritise perishable goods must be brought into action. That could help to alleviate some of the disruption,” said SSPO CEO Tavish Scott.

“Meanwhile, it is evident that the UK Government must seek an agreement to extend the Brexit transition period. This is the only pragmatic step to take during this unprecedented turn of events with Covid-19,” added Scott.

SalmonBusiness has heard reports of trucks of Scottish salmon turning from the port of Dover in response to the news that France has halted lorry movements from the UK. The port of Dover has been closed to all vehicle traffic leaving the UK for the next 48 hours. This has created a three-mile plus gridlock in the area.

The Scottish salmon industry expects to finish the year with a harvest total of 182,000, which comes to 3,500 tonnes per-week on average. The EU accounts for 56 per-cent of the volume of global Scottish salmon export.  The SSPO said that up to 100 lorries of salmon are expected to be affected during the busiest period of the year.