Scottish salmon exports to EU surge 29%
Scottish salmon exports to the EU were up by a nearly a third last year in spite of continuing concerns around Brexit red tape.
Overall exports to 52 global markets soared 36% on the previous year to a near-record £614m, confirming salmon’s place as the UK’s biggest food export. This was only marginally below the £618m recorded in pre-pandemic 2019.
The figures, from HM Customs and Revenue, show that sales to the EU were up 29% and accounted for 61% of the overall volume, defying those who predicted a collapse in trade with the bloc after the UK’s departure. Exports to France rocketed by 64%.
The industry directly employs 2,500 in Scotland and supports more than 3,600 suppliers, with 10,000 jobs dependent on the sector.
Tavish Scott, chief executive of Salmon Scotland, said: “These incredibly encouraging figures demonstrate the global demand for our unrivalled farm-raised Scottish salmon and the resilience of our industry.
“For exports to recover to near record-levels after such a difficult economic period during the pandemic is testament to the hard work and dedication of farmers to sustainable growth in the face of increased costs.”
“But we must also be aware that our Scandinavian counterparts are growing faster and selling more salmon, so it is imperative that government enables a regulatory framework that is both transparent and efficient to ensure that Scottish salmon retains its place as the key flag-bearer for quality exports from Scotland.”
Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “Scottish salmon plays a vital role in our food and drink success story as the UK’s biggest food export, and these figures demonstrate the growing, global appetite for this nutritious and low carbon food source.
“The Scottish Government and Food Standards Scotland have also collaborated and supported the industry with new certification requirements to the EU, including setting up and staffing export hubs.
Whisky sales rise
Scotch whisky exports grew by 19% to a total value of £4.51 billion in 2021, as the end of US tariffs and reduced impacts from the pandemic saw the industry rebound.
However, the value of exports has not returned to pre-coronavirus levels and remains 8% lower than in 2019.
The Scotch Whisky Association said growth was mainly driven by consumers in Asia and Latin America, where the value of exports was up 21% and 71% respectively.
Exports to the US and EU grew by 8%.