Scotland's Economy

Scottish Business Buzz (26.04.17)

Seafood Expo Global meets in Brussels this week. 

46 Scottish seafood companies will be heading to Brussels this week to do business at Seafood Expo Global, the world’s largest seafood show.

Loch Fyne plans to debut its recently launched Makar Gin Infused Smoked Salmon on the global market.  Cameron Brown, managing director of Loch Fyne Oysters, said: “What better way to tell the global market about the diversity of Scotland’s larder than by combining two premium products with origins in our clear waters?  Scotland’s natural environment is a real selling point for the global market, and we are confident that the buyers in Brussels will appreciate the distinct flavour combination we’re developed with The Glasgow Distillery Company.”

The Scottish seafood sector has also had a successful visit to Boston in March, where opportunities to sell more Scottish seafood into the fiercely competitive US market were secured, and deals done for several delegates at SENA (Seafood Expo North America).

These activities have contributed towards a record year last year for Scottish food and drink exports hit a new high of £5.5 billion – a rise from 2015 of 8% and up 56% since 2007.  Within this performance, Scottish seafood accounts for around £759m.

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Scotmas Group awarded Most Entrepreneurial Exporter of the Year

Scotmas Group company Chairman Derek Cameron and Managing Director Alistair Cameron received the “Most Entrepreneurial Exporter of The Year” award at this year’s ‘Scottish Export Awards’ hosted by HSBC and Scottish Enterprise.

Derek Cameron who founded Scotmas Group in 1998 has been a keen entrepreneur throughout his career, spending much of his early years working throughout Africa on a variety of agricultural projects. It was there that he recognised the need for the new and effective biocide Chlorine Dioxide that could protect food supplies from bacterial spoilage due to heat and hygiene issues. Derek was joined at an early stage in the business by his sons, and together they now employ 42 persons in the Scottish Borders and a further 10 in locations across the globe.

Derek Cameron said:

“Scotmas is a business that has been driven by innovation and exports since we were founded as a 3 person home-based business back in 1998.  As we have grown, we have taken care to identify technologies that protect people and the environment from dangerous bacteria and contamination, and we have been successful in spreading that message to markets across Europe, The Middle East and Southern Africa.  Working together with Scottish Trade International and our innovation partners, the next year will see a further expansion of our business into Asia and South America”.

Alistair Cameron said:

“The key to success in our International markets has been about recognising the need to adapt business models to different local demands and market conditions. It has also been about sharing information and best practice around the World. By building close relationships with our partners in overseas markets, we learn about new approaches and challenges that we can take elsewhere in the World.”

Scottish SMEs more reliant on EU workers than small firms in rUK

New research from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) shows 26% of Scottish SMEs currently have a member of staff from elsewhere in the EU, with as high as 41% in Highland areas.

Their research found that if Brexit creates additional barriers to recruiting EU citizens, 37% said they would consider reducing their operations, and 19% potentially could close their business as a result.

The vast majority of these small firms (95%) it was found have no experience of using the UK’s points-based immigration system to recruit non-EU workers.

The research conducted shows the acute importance in Scotland for a future immigration system that meets the needs of the “real economy”, according to Andy Willox, the FSB’s Scottish police convenor.

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Workload for Scottish construction SMEs booming

The latest report from the the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has shown that workloads for SME construction firms have risen faster than at any time since the final quarter of 2007, before the financial crisis.

The report shows a weighted net balance of 35% of small and medium-sized construction firms in Scotland were in the first quarter positive overall about recent and expected movements in workloads and levels of inquiries from customers.

This was an improvement of 25 percentage points on the weighted net balance recorded for the fourth quarter of last year. The FMB noted this was the greatest rise in this indicator seen in any nation or region of the UK in the first quarter.

However, the FMB’s State of Trade Survey for Q1 2017, which is the largest quarterly assessment of the UK-wide SME construction sector, also highlighted concerns in the sector with 85% of builders suggesting that material prices will rise in the next three months while 58% of firms said they were struggling to hire carpenters, the highest reported level since the financial crisis.

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The business event of the year returns with the Business for Scotland Annual Dinner 

Guests can now purchase tickets and book tables for the Business for Scotland Annual Dinner 2017.

Join us on 7th September for the business event of the year, for a night of leading speakers and top entertainment. The full line up for the event will be announced soon.

Date: 7th September 2017

Time: 18:00 registration – 22:30 carriages

Venue: Crowne Plaza, Congress Road, Glasgow, G3 8QT

Dress code: black tie/ highland dress

Prices for tables of 10 and individual tickets for Stakeholder and non members for the event can be found here

Book your individual tickets here

Or email [email protected] to book a table of 10 as a Stakeholder member, non member or for VIP table options.



About the author

Rhona Middler

Rhona was Business for Scotland's Engagement Executive and Events Manager.

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