Scottish Salmon is the UK’s biggest fresh food export. In the first half of 2022 international sales of the product came to £280million.
Since the UK left the world’s largest free trade market, the EU, the industry has had to face the challenges of long queues at cross channel ports and increased paper work. Not being in the EU also means that Scottish Salmon’s main competitor, Norway, has a huge advantage as it is in the EEA (European Economic Area) – giving it borderless access to the EU market.
Sales of Scottish Salmon have increased in the UK reaching £1.1billion in 2021. It is the drop in international sales by 8% that is of great concern to the industry.
There are also concerns about staffing as the industry once employed many EU workers and with the UK now having left the EU those workers have mostly gone.
Tavish Scott, chief executive of Salmon Scotland, said:
“Our businesses are vital to the economic performance of the UK – not only in economically fragile coastal and rural areas, but across the length and breadth of the country in processing, engineering, science and technology industries.”
But the Tories are still fixated with their internal party issues of choosing a replacement for the current UK PM Boris Johnson. Tavish Scott has written to the Tory PM hopefuls urging them to take action to alleviate the situation.
The EU, was the biggest importer of Scottish Salmon. That was before Brexit took hold and the UK erected borders with the 27 EU nations.