Lochhead unveils £700k boost for Scottish seafood

Scottish seafood is renowned for its quality. Picture: Neil Hanna
Scottish seafood is renowned for its quality. Picture: Neil Hanna
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THE Scottish Government today announced a £700,000 funding package to promote Scottish seafood as a premium quality product.

The aim of the industry action plan is to achieve a more profitable and sustainable seafood sector.

The campaign was announced by Richard Lochhead, the Rural Affairs Secretary, during a visit to Peterhead.

He said: “Scotland’s seafood sector is already one of our great strengths and Scottish seafood has already achieved much in building its reputation as a product renowned the world over for its pristine quality.

“I’m fully behind the industry as a whole to take these actions forward, and to that end I am pleased to confirm government investment of £700,000 between now and March 2015 to underpin this plan.

“This plan places seafood firmly where it belongs – as an integral and central part of the success story which is Scotland’s food and drink sector. I’m confident it will build on this strong base to achieve an ever more sustainable and profitable seafood sector.”

A report from the Scottish Seafood Partnership, which brings together representatives from the fisheries, aquaculture and processing sectors, has already identified six key areas to further enhance the industry’s reputation and market reach.

These include plans to position Scotland as a world leading provider of premium quality seafood, to identify and capitalise on markets that offer the greatest potential for growth, increase collaboration and effective supply chains within the sector, and improve access to finance.

Iain MacSween, chair of the Scottish Seafood Partnership, said: “The Scottish seafood sector is delighted that our Food Minister Richard Lochhead is committing to a plan which we believe strengthens the future, and the potential, of one of Scotland’s oldest industries.

“The successful implementation of the recommendations in this report are so important to the entire seafood supply chain and we now have the opportunity to work together and push this crucial industry forward.”