Patrick Hughes has been appointed as the new Head of Seafood Scotland, the organisation set up “by the industry for the industry” in 1999 to increase the value of return to the Scottish seafood sector. He joins in January 2017.
He joins from SAC Consulting, the consulting arm of the Scotland’s Rural College, where he was Senior Food and Drink consultant. He worked closely with emerging and established food & drink businesses across Scotland to highlight best practice, identify collaborative opportunities and facilitate key learnings that would affect growth, profitability and greater commercialisation of the sector.
As part of his previous role, Patrick led the Scottish Government funded Think Local programme followed by Connect Local, Scotland’s local food and drink marketing advisory service launched in July 2016, comprising SAC Consulting, Scotland Food & Drink, SAOS (the Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society) and Seafood Scotland.
Having graduated from The Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Patrick then spent just over 20 years working in the seafood sector across the North-East, and it is this combination – of food and drink experience, first-hand seafood knowledge and direct experience as a seafood producer and supplier, that he will bring to the role as Head of Seafood Scotland.
On his ambitions for the role, and Seafood Scotland, Patrick commented: “I am particularly looking forward to tackling some of the significant challenges facing the seafood sector over the next couple of years. In an ever-changing landscape, we don’t yet know what form these challenges will take, so we will need to be adaptable, nimble and receptive to the opportunities that change could bring.
“My remit is to transform Seafood Scotland into a sustainable organisation that will continue to support and grow the sector whilst working closely with the wider food and drink industry and I relish the opportunity to be at the head of the organisation at such a transformative time.”
Seafood Scotland operates worldwide, alongside Government agencies such as Scottish Development International, to promote the wealth of Scottish seafood to a global trade market, which increasingly values the quality and provenance that Scottish seafood is famed for. Focusing on restaurant and catering trade deals, the organisation targets trade buyers, wholesalers, industry influencers and chefs in the US, Europe (including the rest of the UK), the Middle-East and Asia – acting as the conduit between in-country trade markets and Scottish suppliers.
Iain Macsween, Chairman of Seafood Scotland said of Patrick’s appointment: “Patrick’s knowledge of the Seafood sector, alongside his experience of helping businesses develop and grow, made him the natural choice for the role. The Seafood Scotland board looks forward to working with Patrick not only to develop further international opportunities for Scotland’s seafood industry, but also to grow the home market – encouraging chefs and trade suppliers in the UK to source top quality seafood from domestic shores.”