“If Brexit happens, we can export all our fish to Asia and North America”

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CEO Craig Anderson of The Scottish Salmon Company (SSC) hopes to avoid losing his European customers because of Brexit, but he has the solution ready if there is an end to exports to Europe.

As the House of Commons hurries around for a final vote on Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal, if the Agreement is approved by parliament tonight, the UK will leave the EU on March 29 at 11 am.

In 2018, SSC exported 60 per-cent of its fish out of North America and Asia, a percentage that can rise to 100 if SSC is forced to sell outside Europe.

“If we are forced to do so, we are ready to find new customers and new markets outside Europe for the remaining fish. We have worked with alternatives for a long time and are well prepared,” said Anderson to SalmonBusiness during SSC’s quarterly presentation at Hotel Continental in Oslo on Tuesday.

The quarterly report itself was presented on March 1 and showed a volume increase of 20 percent year on year, which lifted the result for The Scottish Salmon Company.

Additional charge
Anderson said they cannot sell all the fish in the short term, but solutions are also not far away.

“Short-term it is problematic. If we do not get our product sent out by trucks and flights to Europe for a period, we must have the fish further in the sea. In the slightly longer term, we can export everything out of Europe,” he said, adding:

“We must work with the authority to be allowed to leave the fish in the sea while we find other buyers. It will give us some extra costs, but it is certainly an opportunity for us. But we are in daily contact with our customers in Europe and hope to keep them for the longest time possible.”

Growth in North America
Even before the consequences of a potential Brexit, SSC has had a strategy to export more of the salmon out of Europe.

“It is certainly a strategy for us to expand more towards North America and Asia. There are very important markets for us. In 2016, we sold salmon for USD 200 thousand to North America, in 2017 this increased to USD 12 million, and the figures from 2018 show exports to North America for USD 25 million,” Anderson said.

This year, SSC expects to export more than USD 30 million to North America.