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US Beef Disruption Leads to Emerging Role of Scottish Seafood

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Following the recent cyber-attack targeting JBS, suspending operations at its nine beef processing plants across the US, foodservice operators have been left unsure of their beef supply, leading them to look to seafood as a desirable alternative for the premium protein sector.

The beef supply chain already saw disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, seeing a spike in prices and a reduction in supply, and this latest news is leading chefs to explore options to keep customers satisfied.

Enter Seafood from Scotland

“I am absolutely concerned with my supply chain; particularly around center of the plate,” says John Serock, John Serock Catering, West Chester, PA. “We have over 350 weddings and events scheduled this summer; all of which have set menus and pricing. We are actively considering how we can pivot from beef to more seafood-based menu items—both center of the plate and in our appetizers,” he added.

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Answering the call, Seafood from Scotland is emerging in the US as a reliable and readily available protein source for foodservice, retail and consumers across the US. Seafood is Scotland’s largest food export, reaching over 120 countries with over 60 species available commercially including both wild- caught and farmed seafood.

The top seafood products readily available in the US from Scotland include:

  • Scottish Salmon
  • Haddock
  • Langoustine
  • Scottish Trout (Steelhead)
  • Monkfish
  • Brown Crab
  • (Blue) Lobster
  • Hake

“Salmon is a big part of my menu offering. It has high perceived value and is easy to prepare. My guests love our grilled salmon with pearl couscous, fresh herbs, lemon and olive oil; it has become a signature item for us. We use seafood from Scotland as we appreciate the consistent quality, availability and price” says John.

Geography Makes the Difference

The cold and clear waters allow Scottish shellfish to mature in their own time, growing slowly to increase their sweet flavor, while salmon farmed in Scotland has also been found to have increased omega-3 levels compared with other salmon producing countries, thanks to its optimal nutrient-rich environment. The 2020-2025 US Dietary Guidelines recommends a shift toward healthy eating patterns, suggesting the general population should eat at least 6 ounces of seafood per week with the aim to take in at least 250 mg per day of omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA.

Seafood Management and Regulation

The Scottish seafood industry is rigorously managed and regulated to ensure responsible fishing practices are employed, with minimal impact on the marine environment.

Scotland holds more Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) accreditations than most EU countries and has been a pioneer in alternative approaches such as the Conservation Credits system. Scottish fish farmers and fishermen consider themselves to be custodians of the sea, proud to invest in sustainable practices that secure a continued living for themselves and future generations.

With over 300 expert processors, the Scottish seafood industry is renowned for consistency and skill; delivering against customers’ exact requirements from whole fish to live shellfish, retail-ready packs, wholesale consignments, private label, and value-added products. Find out more here.

Top Photo by Agustin Piñero from Pexels
Bottom Photo by Terje Sollie from Pexels