In partnership with SAOS, NFU Scotland has launched the Scottish Agricultural Export Hub to develop new export opportunities and expand existing export markets for Scottish agricultural produce for the benefit of primary producers.
The Hub will be delivered by NFUS and SAOS with funding from the Scotland Food & Drink Partnership’s Recovery Plan, which is supported by the Scottish Government.
Scotland’s farming, fishing, food and drink sector is a £15 billion industry, employing 120,000 people in communities across the whole of Scotland. But all too often, the existing supply chain does not deliver for primary producers.
This new initiative will focus on the potatoes, cereals, fruit and vegetables sectors to expand the market horizons and connections more directly for primary producers and to seek out markets where a higher return may be possible, to drive more value down the supply chain.
Success in export markets will support a sustainable, profitable farming sector in Scotland.
Patrick Hughes, the former Head of Potato Export Development at AHDB and former Head of Seafood Scotland has joined SAOS to drive the initiative forward.
Patrick brings more than 25 years of experience across the agri-food sector to deliver this project and will be supported by an NFUS farming steering group.
NFUS Chief Executive, Scott Walker said: “UK and Scottish Governments have put a lot of resources into opening market access and export promotion. We want to see some of the benefit of these activities coming back to farmers.
“The Scottish Agricultural Export Hub will realise some of these export market opportunities by linking producers here in Scotland with export opportunities. Creating diversity, where farmers can sell their products into different and new markets can only help in sustaining Scottish farms and supporting profitable production.
“This is a new initiative built on a strong partnership between NFUS, SAOS and Scotland Food & Drink. We have an opportunity to develop new supply chains and support existing ones.
Patrick Hughes said: “I am delighted to be involved in this project to support capability building activities within the supply chain to realise export opportunities and to manage the relationships within the identified export supply chains. There is clear potential to build upon the existing platform in the potato sector and explore the exciting opportunities for cereals, fruit and vegetables.”