The Sutherland-based salmon farming company began trading overseas in 1999 – the same year it was established. 18 years on, Loch Duart exports its salmon to 20 countries around the globe.
"An exciting niche market for a top-end producer"
When Loch Duart began receiving increasing demand for their salmon from countries around the world, the company knew it had export potential. Co-founder and sales director, Andy Bing, says demand comes from “countries where they appreciate the best-tasting food and are prepared to pay for it”.
Evidently, there is not a shortage of global demand - Loch Duart's export success made a significant contribution to its turnover of £38.4 million in 2016.
The company really values European market opportunities as part of its exporting strategy. The "foodie culture" in Europe is something Andy views as “an exciting niche market for a top-end producer”.
...the door to expanded sales and a more interesting business life.
Andy Bing, Loch Duart
Loch Duart already has huge success in European markets such France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Austria and Eire and it recently expanded trade operations into Spain and Italy.
Other countries the company exports to include the USA, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Dubai, Bahrain, Lebanon and Oman.
Challenges of trading overseas
Andy describes exploring overseas markets as “the door to expanded sales and a more interesting business life”.
However, language barriers, currency changes, etiquette and cultural differences are some of the most common issues businesses face when exporting.
Andy admits that some countries have complex bureaucracy at customs and import which can be time-consuming and frustrating. Loch Duart has employed French and Spanish speakers within the company to relate to buyers in these countries in familiar and simple terms.
Expanding opportunities in Europe
Finding the right distributors in international markets has been a key step for the company in terms of reaching the right customers within Loch Duart’s niche target market – those seeking top quality produce – and who will pay.
Establishing an exclusive relationship with their key distributors in Europe has supported the company’s growth ambition, while ensuring receipt of payment along the way.
The company received support from Highlands and Islands Enterprise to help boost its trade efforts. Highlands and Islands Enterprise connected Loch Duart with its international arm, Scottish Development International.
Scottish Development International provided Loch Duart with market insights, interpretation and translation services to help the company navigate international markets more easily.
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