McArthur calls for simpler supply process for seafood exporters

Orkney’s MSP, Liam McArthur, has today (Wednesday) called on the Scottish Government to look at ways of streamlining processes for seafood exporters.

During Portfolio Questions, Mr McArthur highlighted that seafood exporters, such as Orkney Fishermen’s Society, faced delays and burdens on staff and cashflow due to levels of bureaucracy that served no useful purpose.

Orkney’s MSP urged Scottish Ministers to take steps to reduce the level of paperwork involved in the supply and export of produce.

In response, the Minister for Parliamentary Business, Graeme Dey agreed to raise the matter with the Rural Affairs Secretary and provide Mr McArthur with a more detailed response.

Following the exchange, Mr McArthur commented:

“The seafood sector is currently facing severe challenges as a result of the disruption caused by Brexit.  This has compounded the loss of markets due to the pandemic. 

“It is essential, therefore, that Scottish and UK Ministers do everything possible to alleviate the pressure by easing unnecessary burdens.

“Orkney Fisherman’s Society, for example, have highlighted to me the delays to their supply operations due to added bureaucracy and paperwork. This not only places burdens on staff but poses serious risks to the business’ cashflow if shipments are missed.

“Much of this paperwork serves little purpose and appears wholly arbitrary. Catch certificates, for example, could readily be streamlined without losing any of the essential information required by the relevant authorities.

“This and other practical steps need to be taken to safeguard the future of key local businesses like OFS. I hope the Rural Affairs Secretary will now look to take these forward with his UK counterparts.”

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