Scottish seafood heading to Florida on Virgin Altantic’s newest flight
A new Virgin Atlantic passenger service between Edinburgh, Scotland, and Orlando, Florida, U.S.A. will provide Scottish seafood producers with the chance to supply their fish and shellfish to the U.S. Southeast.
The new direct flights will begin in April 2022.
Fresh Scottish seafood products such as salmon tend to be exported to the U.S. market as air freight, mostly leaving Scotland in the holds of scheduled passenger flights. Industry body Seafood Scotland said that with the global pandemic pinching many food distributors’ supply chains, this opportunity to open access is welcome news. Seafood is Scotland’s top food export.
“This is significant for seafood exports from Scotland and links to North America,” Seafood Scotland Head of Trade Marketing for the U.K. and North America Clare MacDougall said. “Seafood can be out of the water in Scotland and on a diner’s plate in Orlando in 18 hours.”
According to the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO), the global demand for Scottish salmon continues to grow. In 2019, a record 103,900 metric tons (MT) was exported to 54 countries, an increase of 26 percent on 2018 figures, with the United States as the second most important export market behind France, receiving 27,227 MT of salmon, valued at around USD 248 million (EUR 209.3 million).
“More operators are asking about how seafood is sourced, and what regulations are in place to ensure quality and environmental responsibility. We are proud to have sustainability and traceability facts front and center for our existing and potential customers,” MacDougall said.
Meanwhile, Scottish fishing businesses and marine organizations have been allocated up to GBP 800,000 (USD 1.1 million, EUR 930,900) in new financial support to help mitigate the impacts of Brexit and to help aid recovery from the effects of COVID-19.
The funding – part of the GBP 14 million (USD 19.3 million, EUR 16.3 million) Marine Fund Scotland – was announced by Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon in a food and drink debate in Scottish Parliament.
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