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ผู้เขียน หัวข้อ: Scottish salmon nets top 10 spot for export to China  (อ่าน 1799 ครั้ง)
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« เมื่อ: กรกฎาคม 31, 2007, 04:36:01 PM »

Source: Sunday Herald  World News    29/07/2007 21:42:43


Gordon Cairns

Scottish farmed salmon has been included in a prestigious top 10 of European foods, which could give the product a major export boost and open up new markets in the Far East.

 

The fish has been included in a select list of quality foods in a unique European Commission trade agreement with China, which allows foodstuffs to be sold in that country. In return, 10 Chinese foods will now be allowed into the European markets.

 

The baskets of top-of-the-range European and Chinese foods have their home location in their names, including Parma Ham, Roquefort Cheese, Yancheng Crayfish and Guanxi Honey Pomelo, a citrus fruit.

 

The aim of the trade co-operation, which followed a year's consultation, is to protect foodstuffs that are intrinsically tied to where they are made. The 10 European products were chosen from a list of 750 awarded Protected Geographic Indication status by the EU.

 

Sid Patten, chief executive of the Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation (SSPO), said: "This is fantastic news for such an iconic product of Scotland's, which gives us every potential for growth.

 

"It is an acknowledgement of where Scottish salmon stands in the top of the pops in food and drink, and shows that what the industry has been trying to do over many years has been appreciated."

 

At present, the export value of Scottish farmed salmon is around £150 million, accounting for 40% of all Scottish food exports, with 1000 tonnes going to the Far East.

 

Patten added: "For China to be recognising Scottish salmon shows we are reaching all airts and pairts', whether it's the Scottish Highlands and Islands or the rest of the world.

 

"The challenge now is to meet the demand for Scottish salmon, with sustainable and sensible growth that matches our foreign competitors' growth."

 

Since a 2003 high, the production of salmon in this country has fallen from 160,000 tonnes a year to 120,000 tonnes, in part caused by a global fall in prices which has affected confidence within the industry.

 

But Patten believes that the industry can grow and meet the demand created by the EU recognition: "The challenge is to meet the demand for Scottish salmon. We now have a strategy for sustainable and sensible growth back towards 160,000 tonnes a year, until in 10 years' time we would hopefully be producing 200,000 tonnes, which we believe the environment and the industry can support."

 

He added: "We believe there is a significant gap between production capacity and demand. There is 40,000 tons of salmon coming into the UK each year. With a sensible approach we can match that and increase our exports."

 

What the agreement means in real terms for the industry, which supports 8500 full and part-time jobs, is difficult to estimate. Patten admitted that the SSPO was so surprised by the recognition that, as yet, no studies have been made as to what the demand is in China. He said: "We have niche markets in the US and Japan, where our fish is popular for sushi, but to quantify what our sales could be in China would be like sticking your finger in the wind."

 

But he added that being included on the list would reinforce confidence within the industry. "Success breeds success and when you are recognised in such a way it does promote that feel-good factor."

 

The international recognition of the Scottish fish comes on the back of Shetland-based salmon farmers, the Hjaltland Group predicting a substantial rise in exports, underpinned by an almost £7m investment across its operation.

 

Michael Stark, managing director of the Hjaltland Group, which was recently named the international business of the year at the recent Scottish Food & Drink Excellence Awards, said: "The company's success is down to an innovative vertical integration approach, which combines farming, processing and sales and marketing.

 

"Having just the one link in the chain means we can adopt exacting and timely controls throughout the entire process and take full responsibility for our products."


Source or related URL: http://www.sundayherald.com
 
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