Scottish meat processor AK Stoddart has landed a £1 million deal to export Scotch Beef to Japan.
The West Lothian-based company sent an initial 20-tonne shipment of assorted Scotch Beef products to Japan last month, and it will be followed by further deliveries in the next eight to 10 weeks.
It follows a preliminary delivery of Scotch Beef to Tokyo last autumn as part of the Rugby World Cup celebrations, organised jointly by Scottish Development International and Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).
Grant Moir, Stoddart’s managing director, said the company was ready to take advantage of export opportunities, and it had introduced measures to allow safe working during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“As restaurants start to reopen, we are ready to supply some of the top chefs with some of the best beef in the world,” said Mr Moir.
“This deal with Japan marks an important step forward for AK Stoddart’s export plans and we will look to grow and expand on this.”
He said the company was planning to grow its exports by 60% this year. As well as Japan, it exports meat to North America, Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Monaco and the Netherlands.
QMS chief executive Alan Clarke welcomed the deal and said the Japanese market was worth an estimated £130m to the UK red meat industry over five years.
He said: “Japanese consumers are known for having a hunger for the best quality products and Scotch Beef fits the bill perfectly.”
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “This deal shows there remains a strong demand for top quality Scottish produce and how important it is to protect and promote that in the future.”