The country must now improve the value instead of the volume of its products for export growth, Vernet told GlobalMeatNews at the Sial food show in Paris, by finding markets for and increasing sales of fifth-quarter and lower-value products.
He explained: "The fifth quarter – we can take care of it, present it well and increase its value." He mentioned the potential in markets that are important for different parts of the carcase, for example exporting bones to Africa.
He added: "Our volumes are too low so we cannot expand exports in volume. We increased our exports by 4% last year, and this what we are happy and comfortable with. Eighty per cent of Scottish production is for the UK market; this is our bread and butter and we cannot risk it."
France imports the most product from Scotland at 46% of total exports, while Belgium and the Netherlands import 24%.