Japanese sushi deal swells exports at Scottish Salmon Co

The Scottish Salmon Company (SSC), one of Scotland’s biggest food producers, has hailed a significant boost to sales in the Asian market following a supply deal with a Japanese sushi chain.

Friday, 18th October 2019, 6:04 pm
Updated Friday, 18th October 2019, 7:04 pm
SSC has seen its exports to Japan increase by around 25 per cent in the last year. Picture: Contributed

The Edinburgh-headquartered group has benefitted from a successful trial supply of so-called “Tartan Salmon” with Genki Sushi, a Tokyo-based restaurant group.

Genki Sushi piloted the Scottish salmon at 27 of its restaurants across Japan before extending its promotion to a further 127 subsidiary group stores.

SSC has seen its exports to the region increase by around 25 per cent in the last year.

A link between the firm and Genki Sushi was established in October 2017 at an event to showcase Scotland’s export potential, with SSC developing the specialist “Tartan Salmon” products in response to a growing demand for Scottish fish in Japan.

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The update from SSC comes hot on the heels of last month’s announcement that the salmon producer is to be sold to a fish farming company in the Faroe Islands in a transaction valued at more than £500 million.

Faroese firm Bakkafrost agreed to acquire Northern Link’s 68.6 per cent stake of shares in the salmon producer, triggering a mandatory takeover of the entire business. The planned transaction values SSC, which is listed on the Oslo stock exchange, at £517m.

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Scottish heritage

Craig Anderson, chief executive of SSC, said: “Japan and the Far East is a key market and demand for our salmon has helped drive a 25 per cent increase in our exports over the past year.

“We expect this to increase as more consumers experience the great taste and provenance of our quality Tartan Salmon.

“We take great pride in our Scottish heritage, and this is demonstrated through our commitment to bringing the finest quality Scottish salmon to worldwide markets.”

During a trip to Japan earlier this month, Scottish external affairs secretary Fiona Hyslop visited a branch of Genki Sushi in Tokyo.

She said: “Japan is an important part of our international trade landscape and we are committed to supporting Japanese companies looking to connect with suppliers of our premium goods and services.

“Scotland’s reputation for quality extends across our entire food and drink sector.

“Along with salmon, our seafood fits well with the demands of discerning Japanese customers.”

Earlier this year SSC unveiled turnover of £111.8m in the six months to 30 June on the back of surging harvest volumes, which increased by 17 per cent.

The salmon producer currently operates some 60 sites across the west coast of Scotland and the Hebrides.

It has more than 600 employees in Scotland.