A food and drink expert from the consulting arm of Scotland’s Rural College (SRC) has been appointed to lead Seafood Scotland into new international markets after Brexit.
Patrick Hughes takes the helm at the trade body this month after a five-month leadership vacuum created by the departure of Graham Young – now industry development director at Scotland Food and Drink – last August.
Seafood Scotland chairman Iain Macsween said Mr Hughes’ knowledge of the sector and his experience of helping businesses develop and grow made him “the natural choice” for the role.
The new man in charge not only has the task of developing new international opportunities for Scotland’s multibillion-pound seafood industry, but will also be trying to grow the UK market – encouraging chefs and trade suppliers to source domestic produce.
A graduate of Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, he has already clocked up more than 20 years’ experience of Scotland’s seafood industry.
At SRC business SAC Consulting, he worked closely with emerging and established businesses across Scotland to highlight best practice, and promote opportunities for driving growth, profitability and greater commercialisation in the sector.
He also led both the Scottish Government-funded Think Local programme and Connect Local, the food and drink marketing advice service backed by groups including Seafood Scotland.
Mr Hughes said: “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. We will need to be adaptable, nimble and receptive to the opportunities that change could bring.”