Scotland appoints additional seafood export advisors, SAIC expands board
Additional advisers are to be appointed to help provide Scotland’s seafood businesses with support on new paperwork and processes following the end of the E.U. exit transition period, the Scottish government has confirmed.
Two new full-time roles will be created at the trade and marketing body Seafood Scotland to help companies better understand the new business practices to export to the E.U. and Northern Ireland, including the customs and export certification processes. The new support is being funded through the Scottish government and Scotland Food and Drink’s joint recovery plan.
“The seafood sector has been devastated by this poor Brexit deal and we cannot wait for the U.K. government to solve the administrative problems they have created,” Scotland Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said. “Our focus is on resolving the issues around exports and making sure the process runs as smoothly as possible which is why as an immediate priority, we are funding these new posts to provide in-depth expert support to exporters across Scotland and help them navigate the new and onerous processes. We continue to back calls from our food and drink businesses for a six-month ‘grace period’ to allow exporters more time to digest the outcome of negotiations on a trade deal and prepare as best as they can.”
Seafood Scotland Chief Executive Donna Fordyce said the investment comes at a crucial time for the Scottish seafood industry.
“With its resilience already weakened by a year of COVID-19 restrictions, followed by the French border closure over Christmas, the Brexit issues couldn’t have come at a worse time,” she said. “By appointing our own elite team of exporting experts, we will be able to provide companies of all sizes throughout the country with one-to-one support, to help guide them through the raft of administrative changes Brexit has brought as we strive to return to a position where product is flowing freely to our valued European customers. There’s a lot of work to do but this is a really positive step forward in resolving the issues still lingering post-Brexit and we look forward to the new team being put into position imminently.”
Also in Scotland, the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) has appointed three international aquaculture experts to its board.
Scottish Salmon Company Marine Director Alan Sutherland, Benchmark Genetics Technical Director Alan Tinch, and University of Aberdeen International Centre for Aquaculture Research and Development Pieter van West have been appointed to support the innovation center’s “drive toward a more sustainable future for aquaculture.”
“Each of our new board members will bring valuable knowledge and experience to the table, with international expertise in multi-species aquaculture, academic know-how and a track record of collaborating across industry and applied science,” SAIC Chair David Gregory said. “Greater collaboration will play a key role in supporting the aquaculture industry to meet the rising demand for quality, sustainably sourced protein. By fostering collaborative networks, we can help Scottish aquaculture to thrive with new technology and cost-effective, sustainable, data-led ways of working that can future-proof the sector, particularly amid the ongoing challenges of COVID-19.”
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