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Breakthrough food deal

Haggis back on Canadian menu after half century

Macsween haggis

Haggis on the menu after almost 50 years


Scotland will export haggis to Canada for the first time in almost 50 years after Macsween of Edinburgh developed  a new recipe that meets Canadian regulations.

It follows the lifting of the Canadian ban on red meat imports from Europe in 2015.

Economy Secretary Keith Brown welcomed the news during a visit to the country. He was in Toronto to showcase Scotland’s food and drink produce to Canadian buyers.

He said: “Haggis is known the world over for being a truly iconic symbol of Scotland.

“It’s great news that Macsween have been able to develop a haggis recipe for export to Canada. After waiting 46 years I’m sure there will be many Canadians and ex-pat Scots looking forward to having Scotland’s national dish at the centre of their table at the next Burns’ supper.

“This development is an indication of the increasing interest in, and love of, Scottish food and drink produce in North America. As a Government, we have supported Macsween to grow their business and will continue to support Scottish companies in unlocking the significant opportunities to be found in this fast-growing market.”

James Macsween, managing director of Macsween, said: “We at Macsween are absolutely delighted to be the first Scottish haggis sold in Canada in 46 years.

“Finally, Canadians and the ex-pat community within Canada will be able to enjoy the UK’s no.1 haggis brand, loved for its’ award-winning taste and texture.  This is a huge milestone for Macsween to be expanding internationally and leading the way in an increasingly competitive market.

“My grandfather, Charlie, would be very proud to see how far we’ve come from his original butcher’s shop in Bruntsfield, which he opened back in 1953.”

Food and drink exports to Canada are now worth more than £94 million, with latest reports from Scottish companies suggesting that food exports have increased by 37% over the last year.

Scottish companies having particular success include:

  • Scottish seafood supplier, Associated Seafood, which – this month – will launch two Scottish Smoked salmon products with Canada’s largest retailer Loblaw. It has over 1,700 locations across Canada.
  • Highland-based company, Cullisse, which has begun exporting the first Scottish rapeseed oil to North America.
  • Stockans Oatcakes, which can now be found in Canadian Wal-Mart, Metro & Sobeys stores.
  • Edinburgh-based brewer, Innis & Gunn, whose largest export market continues to be Canada and are the most popular imported craft beer in the country.

Susan Beattie, head of food & drink at Scottish Development International, said: “It’s great to see the industry’s investment in market and product development delivering results. Canada is a priority market for Scotland and we are working with Scotland Food and Drink partners to ensure that companies are able to fully exploit the opportunities in retail and food service.

“Earlier this month we had 21 buyers and distributors from Canada at our Showcasing Scotland event – they were very impressed by the companies they met and are keen to do more business with Scotland.”

Background

Since the red meat ban was lifted, Scottish companies have been working to produce a haggis recipe that meets Canadian regulations. The import ban on offal remains in place.

Macsween of Edinburgh has benefited from a range of Scottish Government support to help with its growth ambitions, including Food Processing & Marketing Cooperation Grant funding and specific supply chain and logistical advice on accessing the Canadian market through the Market Driven Supply Chain project.

Associated Seafood was supported by the Scotland Food and Drink Export Partnership which has in-market specialists in the eight top prospect markets – including Canada.

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