SEAFOOD INDUSTRY IN A “MORE CHALLENGING” POSITION POST BREXIT
Seafood industry in a “more challenging” position post Brexit. Seafood Scotland has published its vision for the Scottish seafood sector post-Brexit. Earlier this year it commissioned a wide-ranging report which examined the current state of play, and the hurdles the industry will need to overcome in the months – and years – ahead.
The report concludes that the new UK-EU Trade & Cooperation Agreement presents a clear threat to some sectors of the Scottish seafood industry, whilst providing moderate – but uncertain gains – for others.
It also advocates permanent financial support to ensure that Seafood Scotland is able to undertake more strategic, longer term priorities, instead of applying for project-based support on an annual basis.
On a positive note, the industry retains significant access to quality fish stocks and has well-established markets within the EU and further afield, both factors which will ease recovery. The report also found that that there is a clear impetus within the industry to grow and develop, citing the Seafood Transformation | ONE (opportunitynortheast.com), which aims to grow Scotland’s seafood processing sector turnover by up to £240m, creating over 900 jobs.
Donna Fordyce, Chief Executive of Scottish Seafood, said:
“There are glimmers of light that make it easier for the industry to rebuild but overall the post-Brexit trade environment leaves the industry in a more challenging position than it was previously. Nevertheless, we are now firmly focussed on taking forward the key recommendations, including a quality assurance scheme, most likely beginning with nephrops.
“Other focus areas include building a marketing presence in alternative – non-EU – markets; applying best practice from countries such as Iceland and Norway; advocating for expansion of the processing sector, improved management of shellfish stocks; and working towards sustainability becoming an integral part of the supply chain.”
Since 1st January the UK has become an independent coastal state. A lot of information is in the public domain and a lot of organisations are issuing guidance. Seafood Scotland has set up a Brexit Working Group and will work through the key issues with stakeholders and provide all the information you require to continue to trade on. Seafood Scotland and other key stakeholders will work together to provide easy to follow guidance, webinars and a forum to highlight issues and concerns that are not being addressed or where there is no clear guidance.