Brexit – you love it or hate it and while the change has been rather smooth so far there have been a few hitches, particularly in our sea food industries
Seafood exporting businesses across the country have sadly faced challenges while adjusting to new requirements for exporting to the EU. The Government has listened and from today any seafood exporter affected can apply for financial help to see them through the challenges.
Called the ‘Seafood Disruption Support Scheme’ the Government will provide up to £23m of financial support to any seafood business that has faced a loss because of initial delays related to the export of fresh fish, live fish or shellfish throughout January. While a number of companies have battled through this and accepted the loss, you may be pleased to hear that the fund can be paid retrospectively back to the 1st January.
In addition to the scheme the Government is also providing targeted assistance to help exporters get to grips with the new processes. A Seafood Export Working Group has been set up and meets twice a week to troubleshoot issues raised and a task force has been set p in Scotland.
On top of this the seafood sector is set to benefit from a further £100m of investment to help modernise fishing fleets, bolster the fish processing industry and rejuvenate fishing hot-spots in the UK. This fund replaces the previous £32m fund that was in place from the EU.
Fisheries Minister Victoria Prentis said:
Seafood exporting businesses across the UK can apply from today for support from this £23 million scheme, reflecting the unique challenges faced by the sector.
We will continue to work closely with the fisheries and seafood industry through our Seafood Exports Working Group to troubleshoot any issues that cause delays to the export of these highly perishable goods.
The applications for the Seafood Disruption Scheme close at the end of February so there is still plenty of time to apply for both the finances and the guidance.
Let’s focus on rebuilding our great fishing nation!