Two organisational giants of the UK's seafood processing sector came together for the first time this week.
Jimmy Buchan, Business Manager, Scottish Seafood Association, visited Grimsby's Fish Merchants Association and its associated Seafood Grimsby & Humber board members.
Meeting with processors and representatives of the local supply-chain, took place over locally processed fish & chips. Despite geographical differences, the two like-minded groups found common ground on a variety of topics linked to the UK's seafood processing sector.
With Brexit being a hot topic, both organisations recognised the importance of a joined up message for the processing sector both sides of the border. Common themes discussed were supply of labour and the ability to transport cargo in and out of UK post-March 2019. The parties also discussed the automisation of the processing activity and future Governments funding mechanisms to support innovation.
Jimmy Buchan commented: “On visiting the Humber this morning and meeting Simon Dwyer and colleagues, I'm pleased to have found common ground to champion our seafood sector. The visit today has helped me to better understand the Grimsby and Humber processing sector."
Simon Dwyer, representing the Grimsby & Humber based organisations added "I'd like to thank Seafish Industry Authority for facilitating this meeting. We have a common cause with Jimmy and his members, and that's to sustain our processing sectors beyond Brexit and work with our Governments to create conditions for growth. The UK consumer market is big enough for both clusters to support an increase in seafood consumption and remain competitive towards processors abroad"
Both parties agreed to continue dialogue and with the support of Seafish, will meet again in the New Year.
The Scottish Seafood Association is a memberships organisation representing over 70 predominantly SME seafood processors in Scotland.
Seafood Grimsby & Humber cluster Group is representative of the regional seafood processing cluster employing 5000 people.
Attendees at the lunch included also included: Seafish Industry Authority, Pelagia Ltd, Seachill Ltd, Seafood Village Ltd, PPS East Ltd