Robert Nicholson is one of the directors of QA Fish - seafood processors and wholesalers based in a prime location adjacent to the Scalloway fish market and harbour, on the west coast of the Shetland Isles.
The name QA (Quality Assured) Fish Limited, is a strong indicator that only the freshest of raw material is gathered daily from approved local sources, with all orders despatched on the day of sourcing.
When the company reached a stage where it was ready for expansion, discussions highlighted exporting as a route to the best opportunities.
QA has been working with HIE for the last 4 years. They have received a Go Global Grant and support and advice from Scottish Development International (SDI) market specialists. This combined financial and knowledge based expertise facilitated a visit to China Hong Kong and Thailand, where the company was introduced to customers and began to develop new markets.
Last year, QA exported 700 tonnes of seafood and they expect this to increase to 1000 tonnes by the end of 2017. The business currently exports to China, France, Spain, Germany, Switzerland and Italy, and is looking to expand its European presence in Belgium, Holland, Austria and Hungary.
The export market is not without risks, but it’s well worth looking into. Done correctly with the right connections, the opportunities are there.