Seafood Scotland’s 2-year business development and value added support programme is showing very positive results for Scottish companies, according to an independent interim evaluation of performance.
Funded by Scottish Government and the European Fisheries Fund, with financial input from Aberdeenshire Council, the programme assisted 91 companies between April 2011 and July 2012 and has funding to help another 28 businesses before it ends in March 2013.
Aims of the programme include the development of new markets and maximising of opportunities in existing markets, raising awareness of Scottish seafood amongst buyers, maximising production and distribution efficiencies, reducing wastage, and improving the overall value of the catch.
Support with market intelligence and sales activities, product and website development, and technical/environmental help with accreditation such as MSC, SALSA and BRC to improve retail capability, were some of the most popular forms of assistance taken up by companies.
There was high expectation from participants at the start of the project that support would result in new customers, increased turnover, and cost savings resulting from improved efficiencies.
These expectations were borne out by the results they achieved. More than fifty percent of companies evaluated said that their objectives had been met, whilst a further 29% replied that it was too soon to measure benefits.