Seafood business from the Highlands and Islands are grasping the opportunity to give Europe and beyond a flavour of what they have to offer when they showcase their produce at the European Seafood Exposition 2010 in Brussels.
The world's largest seafood fair which takes place April 27-29 attracts around 24,000 buyers from over 140 countries around the world and features stands from over 1600 exhibitors. It provides key opportunities for businesses to set out their stalls on an international stage and to develop commercial links with the seafood industry.
Seven companies from the Highlands and Islands will be among 17 Scottish seafood companies exhibiting on the Scottish Pavilion this week at the seafood exposition.
Iain Sutherland from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) will be attending the event. He said: “The Highland and Islands is home to some of the finest seafood on this planet. The number of Highlands and Islands companies which return, year on year, to exhibit at the European Seafood Expo is hard proof of the benefits to be won. It is vital for producers selling quality seafood to showcase their products to the right audience and so we have an excellent Highlands and Islands representation at this influential event in the seafood industry's calendar.”
Supported by HIE, Scottish Development International and the Scottish Government, those attending from the Highlands and Islands include Lighthouse Caledonia who have attended the event for the past two years.
Su Cox, Communications Manager a Lighthouse Caledonia, Scotland's largest independent salmon farming company, said: “The European Seafood Exhibition (ESE) is a key date in the seafood industry calendar and we are delighted to be joining the Scottish delegation at this event. It attracts thousands of influential delegates and it is vitally important to have a presence at this show.
“As Scotland's largest independent salmon farming company, the ESE is a unique opportunity to highlight the quality of our Scottish industry and how it stands apart from its competitors giving us the opportunity to promote the superior quality of our Scottish salmon to the international marketplace.”
The Scottish Pavilion includes a seafood bar managed by Seafood Scotland, showcasing the best of Scottish seafood allowing international buyers to view and taste the variety and superb quality of produce available from Scotland.
Other companies exhibiting on the Scottish pavilion are organic salmon supplier Framgord based in Shetland; ScoFro and Highland Smoked Salmon from Fort William; Lossie Seafoods Ltd of Buckie; SeaProducts of Scotland which have marine farms in Lochgilphead and Shetland; salmon farming company Wester Ross Fisheries; and Lighthouse Caledonia which have salmon farms and processing plants across the Highlands and Islands.
Companies exhibiting on the Scottish Pavilion expect to generate sales leading in excess of £20 million.
A record year is forecast as demand for quality Scottish produce continues to outstrip supply. The value of business generated from the exhibition has increased year-on-year recently, rising from £16m in 2007 to £20m in 2009.
Sales resulting from last year's attendance were generated from around £400,000 of public/private investment in the Scottish Pavilion, providing a direct return to the Scottish Economy of £50 for every £1 spent.