New government taskforce to tackle Scottish seafood export issues

Scottish Seafood Exports Task Force to support UK’s largest food export over Brexit issues. SSPO says it’s disappointed by lack of joint effort.

The BBC reports that a new government group will meet every two weeks with representatives from the UK Government and the salmon farming industry (as well as the wild catch industry).

The industry has experienced disruption of exports into the EU, mainly to France, after the UK left the EU on the 31st of December.

Scotland Office minister David Duguid told the BBC that the Scottish Seafood Exports Task Force will “work collaboratively across UK and Scottish governments, increasing confidence in the seafood and aquaculture supply chain by ensuring that medium and longer-term export issues are resolved.”

Chief Executive of the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation Tavish Scott said he welcomed the announcement of the task force but questioned the decision to lead it from the UK Government, rather than jointly with the Scottish Government.

“The formation of an export Taskforce is welcome two weeks after we raised this with the UK Government’s Michael Gove. We asked for this to be jointly led by Fergus Ewing, Scotland’s Rural Economy Secretary and Defra. Unfortunately, the UK Government has decided to chair the task force alone and through the Scotland Office rather than DEFRA.

“We have been asking for both governments to work together on the red tape, extra export costs we face every day, and the uncertainty on delivery times for fish into Europe. We are at a loss to understand why this task force is not a joint effort, but nevertheless, we will work constructively with our colleagues across seafood to offer export solutions which can help,” added Scott.


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