Canada opens borders to Scottish haggis

By Aaron McDonald

- Last updated on GMT

Macsween has been made traditional haggis in Scotland since the early 1950s
Macsween has been made traditional haggis in Scotland since the early 1950s

Related tags Scotland Lamb

For the first time in almost 50 years, Canada has opened its borders to Scottish haggis.

In 2015, Canada lifted its ban on European red meat, although a ban on offal still remains in place. For the first time, Macsween of Edinburgh has developed a haggis that meets the Canadian requirements.

“We at Macsween are absolutely delighted to be the first Scottish haggis sold in Canada in 46 years,”​ said James Macsween, managing director of Macsween.

“Finally, Canadians and the ex-pat community within Canada will be able to enjoy the UK’s number one haggis brand, loved for its award-winning taste and texture. This is a huge milestone for Macsween to be expanding internationally and leading the way in an increasingly competitive market.

“My grandfather, Charlie, would be very proud to see how far we’ve come from his original butcher’s shop in Bruntsfield, which he opened back in 1953.”

At a Scottish food and drink produce showcase in Toronto, Scotland’s economy secretary Keith Brown said this development was an indication of an increasing interest in Scottish produce in North America. “As a government, we have supported Macsween to grow their business and will continue to support Scottish companies in unlocking the significant opportunities to be found in this fast-growing market,” ​he said.

Macsween has benefited from a Food Processing & Marketing Cooperation Grant from the government, and has been provided with logistical advice in cracking the Canadian market​.

Susan Beattie, head of food and drink and Scottish Development International, added that targeting Canada was an area of focus for Scotland.

“It’s great to see the industry’s investment in market and product development delivering results,”​ she said. “Canada is a priority market for Scotland and we are working with Scotland Food and Drink partners to ensure that companies are able to fully exploit the opportunities in retail and foodservice.

“Earlier this month we had 21 buyers and distributors from Canada at our Showcasing Scotland event – they were very impressed by the companies they met and are keen to do more business with Scotland.” 

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