SFF expresses concern on trade delays

Christian Allard MSP says the situation is absurd.
Christian Allard MSP says the situation is absurd.

The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) is backing the Scottish government by expressing their concerns over the damaging effects of the cross-channel trade delays.

Chief executive, Bertie Armstrong, said: “One result of the chaotic situation caused by high-profile disturbances at the channel crossings has been to hold up lorry loads of highly perishable fish and shellfish being exported, with the delays experienced over the last few weeks taking quantities of these exports beyond use.

“While the difficulties and complexity of the whole migrant issue are recognised, fish and shellfish exporters from Scotland and the rest of the UK will be grateful for anything that can be done to protect this important element of our trade with Europe.”

Meanwhile, SNP MSP Christian Allard has written to French President François Hollande appealing for action to end the damage and disruption to the seafood industry by the road haulage disruption in France.

The French born MSP has called on Mr Hollande’s government to take action and protect HGV drivers and secure safe passage of fresh produce.

Mr Allard has heard from a number of fish processors in Peterhead and Fraserburgh who are worried about the impact the disruption is having on their business.

The North East MSP warned that protesters actions were damaging the wrong people and that immediate action was needed to end the disruption.

Mr Allard said: “I have written to President Hollande after meeting fishermen and fish merchant organisations in the Peterhead and Fraserburgh where it was agreed that the industry should pull together to lobby the UK and French Governments to resolve this issue.

“The protesting French farmers’ actions have destroyed large quantities of seafood carried by Scottish haulage companies.

“I understand fish was landed in Scotland by French fishermen working on French trawlers and this fish was sent by road to be processed by French processors in France. It is an absurd situation.

“I recognise the French farmers’ frustration – but their actions defy all logic.”