Four top Brazilian sushi chefs have taken part in a five-day trade visit to Scotland designed to promote UK seafood and boost exports to South America.
Their trip, supported by Seafood Scotland, saw them cook with locally produced whisky and gin at Arbikie Distillery, before visiting Peterhead fishmarket to meet with Peter Duncan, head of fishing at Peterhead Port Authority, and representatives from Seafood Scotland including chief executive Donna Fordyce.
They also had a tour of the Denholm Seafoods processing factory, before travelling to the west coast where they met with the owner of Caledonian Oysters and had a tour of Bakkafrost Scotland’s salmon farm at Loch Fyne.
In Edinburgh they toured Welch’s Fish Market and Fishmongers, before finishing the trip at Harajaku Kitchen, where they carried out a cooking demonstration with the chefs there.
Minister for exports Andrew Bowie said: “We land and produce some of the finest seafood in the world in the North East of Scotland. It’s great that we’ve been able to show what we have to offer on this trade mission, and it’s no wonder that they were impressed with what they saw.
“Brazil is just one of many markets we’re targeting as we seek to do all we can to promote our seafood exports around the world.”
Brazil is home to the largest Japanese community outside Japan, and sushi is extremely popular there, with São Paolo home to 500 Japanese restaurants. Despite Brazil’s vast coastlines and rivers, the country is reliant on imports for cold-water species.
The trade mission was organised by the Department for International Trade (DIT), in partnership with Defra. It was delivered through the government’s £1m Seafood Export Package, part of the £100m UK Seafood Fund.
One of the chefs on the visit was Regis Sasaki, owner of a company specialising in Japanese gastronomy, Shiki Eventos, in addition to running the restaurant Jappa Boy in São Paulo. Speaking after the visit, he said: “There is so much passion, dedication and high- quality standards in the UK seafood industry, along with full traceability.
“They have the finest and best-quality seafood, which we enjoyed preparing and tasting with our hosts. We hope to be serving some in Brazil soon.”
The visit also enabled Scottish businesses to hear from seafood importers to Brazil, and understand key trends and demands of the Brazilian market.
Head of trade marketing at Seafood Scotland Adam Wing said: “We were delighted to welcome the Brazilian group to Scotland to learn about our quality fish and shellfish.
“I was particularly encouraged by the comments from the guests which reinforced what we already knew – that seafood from Scotland is amongst the best in the world.
“We look forward to working with DIT to develop opportunities for our industry in Brazil and beyond.”
This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here.