Tarbert company turns to China to avert Brexit

Argyll & Bute MP Brendan O’Hara dropped in on Loch Fyne Langoustines in Tarbert last week as Managing Director Jamie McMillan and Operational Manager Jonathan Scott prepared another shipment of Scottish Brown Crab for export to Beijing.

Loch Fyne Langoustine Ltd have only just begun exporting west coast shellfish directly to China but can scarcely keep up with demand from their new Chinese customers. The prospects for Jamie and Jonathan’s forward-thinking look set to be a massive boost to both his business and to the growing world-wide reputation of Argyll and Bute seafood.

Back in November 2017, Jamie came along to local MP, Brendan O’Hara’s Chinese Business Summit, combining the efforts of the China British Business Council, Scottish Development International and Highland and Islands Enterprise to bring the Chinese market opportunities to Argyll and Bute companies.

Commenting, Jamie McMillan said “This was not an easy undertaking, it has taken months of dedication to get to our first export.” He added: “We recognised quickly in 2016 that our business might not survive the uncertainty of leaving the EU. We needed to look at our options quickly. The Summit came at the right time for us and we seized that opportunity.”

Over the course of two days in November 2017, the Argyll & Bute MP took the presentation to Oban, Inveraray and Campbeltown where local businesses were introduced to the possibilities of expanding into the Far East.

Speaking as Jamie and Jonathan prepared another 1000kg batch of the premium west coast product for export, Brendan O’Hara said: “I remember the folk at Loch Fyne Langoustine coming to our meeting in Campbeltown and how keen they were to explore this further. They had enough foresight to see that because of Brexit, the markets on which they had depended could be under threat. From the outset, the business was committed to doing this and they’ve worked incredibly hard to get this foothold in the ever-expanding Chinese market.

I am absolutely delighted that they have taken full advantage of the opportunity presented to them and I wish them every success in the future.”

Jamie McMillan added “there was a huge demand for Scottish shellfish in China and at the rate we’re going, our turnover could nearly double with more demand for staff on the horizon.”

Concluding, Brendan O’Hara added “Loch Fyne Langoustines are proof that hard work pays off but equally, the West Coast of Scotland and particularly Argyll and Bute has a quality of produce that will sell the world over.”

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