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December 21st 2020

The Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO) is calling for swift action by the UK Government to press for freight to France to resume in the face of huge losses in the busiest week of the year.

It follows the French Government's decision to close its border with the UK for 48 hours, meaning no lorries can travel across the Channel to reach vital European markets.

Tavish Scott, CEO of the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO)

Tavish Scott, chief executive of SSPO outlined the imperative for the UK Government to address the situation:

"We are deeply concerned by this extremely disruptive suspension of trade routes to France. Europe is a key market for Scottish salmon and we expect the government to explore all practical options for resuming trade, including the Covid-19 testing of drivers.

"This is the busiest week of the year with more than 150 tonnes of fresh Scottish salmon a day crossing the Channel to Europe. Without a resumption of trade, the Scottish salmon sector could lose £6.5 million in the days before Christmas.

"Plans for Operation Brock to prioritise perishable goods must be brought into action. That could help to alleviate some of the disruption.

"Meanwhile, it is evident that the UK Government must seek an agreement to extend the Brexit transition period. This is the only pragmatic step to take during this unprecedented turn of events with Covid-19."

Background Facts:

  • In December around 3,800 tonnes of whole, fresh/chilled salmon worth £28million is exported to the EU
  • Every day more than 150 tonnes of whole, fresh Scottish salmon are enroute to the EU
  • Export valuation of over £1.1 million every day. Between now and Christmas that would be over £6.5 million worth of Scottish salmon not reaching the market.
  • In addition, other salmon products like fillets, sides of salmon and smoked salmon account for £10 million of sales in December, approximately £400,000 per day of sales.

What to know more about the Scottish Salmon sector? Click here.