Scotland business

Scottish premium salmon producers eye Middle East

man holding salmon
Image caption Exports of premium salmon products reached record levels for the second successive year

Scottish premium salmon producers are launching a new Middle East marketing initiative to capitalise on growing international interest.

"Label Rouge" Scottish salmon will feature at the Gulfood food and drink exhibition in Dubai this weekend.

The move comes as exports of the premium Scottish salmon reached record levels for the second successive year.

The Label Rouge accolade is awarded by the French government to products of superior quality.

Promotional and management body Scottish Quality Salmon (SQS) said interest in premium salmon had developed over the past year in new emerging European markets such as Germany, Belgium and Switzerland.

Scott Landsburgh, SQS chief executive, said: "France is the established market for Label Rouge products, however we are receiving increasing interest from emerging European and Asian markets.

"Gulfood is the region's number one food and drink event and Dubai is one of the world's richest cities. We hope to identify niche opportunities for Label Rouge Scottish salmon in the region."

Anne MacColl, chief executive of Scottish Development International, said: "We are working hard to support the Scottish food and drink industry in identifying and exploiting new international sales opportunities and it is a great endorsement of the strengths of Scotland's salmon industry that exports of Label Rouge Scottish salmon continue to rise."

Last year, exports of Label Rouge Scottish salmon increased by 7%, rising from 7,251 tonnes in 2009 to 7,743 tonnes. This followed a 19% increase in the previous year.

Label Rouge accounts for about 5% of all Scottish salmon production.

The UK is the largest market for Scottish farmed salmon, while France is the largest export market within Europe.

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