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Scottish farmed mussels open their way into markets in the Middle East. (Photo: Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group/FIS)

Middle East signs up for Scottish mussels

Click on the flag for more information about United Kingdom UNITED KINGDOM
Tuesday, May 01, 2012, 01:30 (GMT + 9)

The Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group (SSMG) has embarked upon initial steps in opening an important new market for quality farmed mussels after winning its first export order from the Middle East.

The order for half-a-ton of premium cooked mussels from Dubai-based food distribution specialist JustFood International will give SSMG the opportunity to test market the potential of its premium Scottish rope-grown mussels, which the group envisages will pave the way for further business expansion.

The order follows SSMG’s recent attendance at the Gulfood 2012 exhibition in Dubai, with this first consignment due for delivery at the end of May. The mussels will initially be targeted at markets in the United Arab Emirates and Oman, with a view to expanding into other Gulf countries at a later stage.

Scottish mussels dish. (Photo: SSMG)

SSMG believes there is good potential to expand its portfolio of ready-to-cook products into the Middle East, with a range that includes ‘Scottish Mussels in Garlic Butter’, ‘Scottish Mussels with Mediterranean Sauce’, and the award winning ‘Scottish Mussels in Thai Sauce’.  All these products offer an excellent shelf-life and use premium Scottish rope-grown mussels that are cultivated by SSMG member farms on the West coast of Scotland and Shetland.

Robert Mitchell, Managing Partner for JustFood International, said: “We were impressed by the quality and taste of these Scottish mussels, combined with SSMG’s investment in the latest processing technology.

“The mussels will be marketed at hotels, restaurants and catering companies at first, with the intention to move into retail at a later stage. We believe the Scottish branding and provenance of these mussels will offer important marketing advantages, with the product appealing to customers because of good food cost controls, zero waste, guaranteed availability and consistent high quality.”

Scottish rope-grown mussels have strong appeal amongst environmentally conscious consumers because of the sustainable way in which they are cultivated. Two years ago, mussels from SSMG became the first farmed seafood in the UK to achieve Friend of the Sea certification providing independent confirmation of their sustainability and minimal environmental impact.

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