Fair, transparent exchange helps Cluny Fish land export business

If you’re in Paris, and you buy Scottish smoked salmon from an independent delicatessen, there’s a chance it will have been made by James Paterson at Cluny Fish.

That’s because Cluny Fish exports almost all its smoked and cured fish from Buckie, on the Moray Firth, to boutique retailers and restaurants throughout Europe. Most popular is cold-smoked salmon, where the company competes with dozens of independent smokehouses capitalising on Scotland’s world-famous name.

James says his company can compete in this crowded environment in part because it achieves advantageous exchange rates through freemarket.

A few pennies in the pound doesn’t sound a lot – but on a payment of £30,000 it’s a significant sum to a business like ours. And it gives us a clear advantage in our pricing.”

Having spent ten years phoning around each time he needed to change currency, James was initially attracted to freemarket’s competitive exchange rate and transparent 0.2% commission. Dozens of transactions later, he has also come to value the stable pricing, and the time he saves.

“Calling different companies for foreign exchange made business quite difficult. Rates would vary with the amount I wanted to change, and it was hard to plan. I would manage currency on a daily basis, and try to sell our Euros at the best time, but in a small business you can’t hold on forever.

“The fixed, attractive rate we get with freemarket seemed a fairer and more transparent way of doing things. We set up an account straight away, and we’ve never had a problem.”

James uses freemarket to exchange Euros for pounds on average every ten days; at busy times such as Christmas, it’s significantly more often.

With burgeoning markets in the UK and US to develop, along with a new venture showcasing recipe ideas, currency is now one distraction fewer. Confident of the best possible rate, James can complete the exchange quickly, and get on with managing his team.

“It’s so convenient to use freemarket when you have 101 other things to do. Just pop up the website, and you’re done within a matter of minutes.”

Finding a better way to exchange currency is a relatively small change to Cluny Fish. Originally founded by James’s grandfather in 1969 with an emphasis on herrings, sprats and white fish, the company has diversified into new products and markets. Once a curious sideline, exporting cold-smoked salmon now accounts for 95% of business.

And James is braced for further change, as he makes plans for a possible Hard Brexit. With competition and price volatility poised to increase further still, freemarket will remain a key part of Cluny Fish’s export strategy into the future.


“To anyone else in my position, I would say that – in my experience of the market – freemarket is the best foreign exchange provider currently available.”

Alan Hicks

If this all sounds simpler and fairer to you, then take control of your own international exchange and apply for membership now.