Seafood reputation being lost “day by day” since Brexit, Scottish expert tells MPs

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THE REPUTATION of the UK’s fishing exports is being lost “day by day”, according to a Scottish seafood leader.

Donna Fordyce, the Chief Executive of Seafood Scotland, told MPs this afternoon that the length of time it is taking to get produce to market after being caught in the UK was not only reducing the price for the catch, but destroying the country’s seafood reputation.

She explained to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee: “We were so integrated within the supply chains within Europe to try and unpick that…The impact, even though companies were prepared as much as they can be…there are just too many systems, too many things that you’re up against.

“You’re buying fish on the market that morning, processing it, collecting it at lunchtime, getting it away down to the hubs or direct to the marketplace for the next morning.

“The new system just doesn’t allow that and we cannot guarantee day one for day two so the reputational risk of the UK is getting lost day by day and we need to rebuild that”.

Ms Fordyce also explained that some firms are having to spend between £250,000 and £500,000 extra per year on paperwork so they can sell their fish to the EU market since the UK left the bloc officially on January 1 this year.

In a response to a question from SNP MP Pete Wishart about whether the industry’s concerns were heard by the UK Government, she said: ” Were our concerns heard enough? I don’t think it was [sic],I don’t think it was heard.

“The biggest thing that we need to get sorted out is the system’s efficiencies, we need to cut down the administration it is taking to be able to process everything.”



by Hannah Rodger / The Herald Scotland

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