Scottish salmon Far Eastern Promise

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If Scotland could secure an extra 1 per cent of Japan’s salmon import market it would increase the value of exports to Japan by 100 per cent, to approximately £6.4 million.

That was the message from Scotland’s Food and Drink Secretary Richard Lochhead today as he visited the world-famous Nobu restaurant in Tokyo where top quality Scottish salmon is now served.

Scottish salmon is increasingly sought after by some of Japan’s top restaurants for sushi dishes. Tuna used to be the number one choice for sushi but is being replaced more and more by sustainably sourced salmon.

Japan relies on imports for 40 per cent of its salmon market and is one of the world’s biggest salmon importers (85,900 tonnes).  Scotland currently accounts for just over 1 per cent of those imports (907 tonnes) worth £3.2 million.

Mr Lochhead is in Tokyo leading the largest ever Scottish food and drink trade mission to go to Asia.  Commenting after visiting Nobu restaurant and sampling Scottish salmon sushi, he said:

“By increasing our share of Japan’s booming imported salmon market by just a tiny fraction we can increase the value of our exports by a phenomenal amount.

“The Japanese eat 12 per cent of the world’s fish yet make up just two per cent of the population.  So the appetite is there for us to feed the market with our top quality seafood.

“Scottish seafood – including salmon – has unique appeal to the Japanese consumer. It is high quality, sustainably sourced, fresh and flavoursome.  And I’m sure more and more of it will be appearing in homes and restaurants across Japan in the years to come.”

Scott Landsburgh, Chief Executive of Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation, said:

“Japan is an emerging market with great potential. The market value has more than doubled in a three year period and we are confident that it can grow further.

“The sushi and sashimi markets are achieving a very high rate of growth globally.  It is a trendy product and Scottish salmon is perfectly suited because of its quality, freshness and great taste.

“As Japan has one of the fastest growing demands for salmon, encouraging greater consumption of ‘the best farmed salmon in the world’ is very timely.”

Nobu restaurant

Mr Lochhead with Kazuhiro Yokoyama, executive chef at Nobu, alongside Anne MacColl, chief executive of Scottish Development International (SDI) and James Withers, chief executive of Scotland Food and Drink.

Related information

The trade visit is a joint initiative by SDI and Scotland Food and Drink. The food and drink trade mission is the largest delegation by the sector to Japan and China.