Trade and Markets
Expect more friction before things improve
The departure of the UK from the EU was never going to be easy. The EU is the UK’s main trading partner and disentangling a half-century-old relationship has proved as tricky as foreseen by some. The seafood sector on both sides is struggling to adapt to the new reality.
The transition period from the end of January to the end of December 2020 shielded many seafood trading companies from what was to come because everything continued as before. However, starting from 1 January 2021 British seafood companies trading with the EU started to feel the impact of Brexit as exports to the EU faced several new requirements. Exports the other way had an easier time of it.
Green logistics protects the environment and the climate
The movement of freight has a significant influence on the sustainability of shipping and has developed into one of the most important areas in the transport sector. The term “green logistics” is frequently used in this context, which describes a combination of measures and technologies that aim to organise and monitor freight shipping in a way that protects the environment and climate.
Market diversification despite the pandemic, Euroﬁsh webinar, 18 May 2021
Seafood exporters have had to contend with drastic changes in the market brought on by the pandemic. These took the form of new trends in consumer preferences, novel distribution channels, and new legislation in destination countries, among others. At the Euroﬁsh webinar the discussion revolved around the changes seen in four key markets, China, Ukraine, the UK, and Germany.
Globalisation will remain an indispensable part of the fish industry
This article was featured in EUROFISH Magazine 3 2020.
The coronavirus has largely brought public life to a standstill. Stock markets have plunged into the red, freedom of movement has been severely restricted in some places, and the consequences for the global economy are not foreseeable. One thing is certain, however: the longer the standstill lasts, the more profound will be the disruption in the global fish industry. Familiar market structures could change, raising fears and anxieties about the future for many of those affected.
International Cold Water Prawn Forum, November 2019, Newfoundland and Labrador
This article was featured in EUROFISH Magazine 1 / 2020
The International Cold Water Prawn Forum brings together companies, institutions, researchers, and others, with an interest in cold water prawns. Every two years the forum holds a cold water prawn conference to discuss the state of stocks, their harvesting, processing, and marketing.
Shrimp can be either wild-caught or farmed and according to the FAO, while production from the wild has shown a faintly growing trend, since about 2003 volumes have been more or less stable, while farmed shrimp production over the same period has increased exponentially and is likely to continue increasing.
Consumer survey yields vital insights in consumer habits
The second Global Fishery Forum, which was held on 13-15 September 2018 in St. Petersburg, Russia, offered an extensive programme covering various emerging topics from global fishing activities and projections for 2050, development of aquaculture, global consumer markets, technologies, and popularisation of Russian fish products.
During the second day of the Global Fishery Forum, the conference “Russian fish: a strategy for promoting Russian fish on the Russian market”, gathered experts for discussion on how to increase fish consumption. The main questions looked at understanding what Russian consumers eat and what producers are offering them, consumer awareness and the role of mass-media in this process, what can be done to stimulate consumer demand on the market, and opportunities for retail chains to increase consumption of fisheries products in the country.
Herring is the most-consumed fish in Russia
In 2016, consumption of fish and seafood products in Russia was at 21.1 kg per capita (live weight equivalent), according to the research carried out by the All-Russian Association of Fish Breeders, Entrepreneurs and Exporters (VARPE). The market size was estimated at more than 3 million tonnes of fisheries products. Herring was the leading species with 2.81 kg per capita consumption, followed by salmon species (2.73 kg per capita), Alaska pollock (2.59 kg per capita), cod (2 kg per capita) and mackerel (1.9 kg per capita). These 5 top species make up 12 kg per capita or more than 56% of all fish and seafood products in the country. Consumption of squid, shrimp and crab was about 0.6, 0.25 and 0.14 kg per capita respectively, representing about 5% of the total fish and seafood consumption in the country.
Convincing benefits for suppliers and buyers
A lot of primary food producers try to sell part of their products directly to consumers and thereby circumvent other forms of trade. What has long been common practice for agricultural products is now becoming increasingly popular for fish and seafood, too. This marketing principle has advantages for both parties: the producers get better prices and the customers get optimal freshness.
When at around 4 p.m. the "petits bateaux" return to the port of Le Guilvinec on the French Atlantic coast and the fishermen unload their freshly caught fish or langoustines they are already eagerly awaited at the quayside by locals, restaurant operators and tourists. Fish that is not snapped up immediately can be seen shortly afterwards in one of the harbour fish shops, for example "La Marée du Jour", where crowds of customers are also already waiting. Three and a half hours further north-east by car in Cancale a good half dozen colourful stalls have been set up next to the town’s beach. That is where local oyster farmers offer their specialities. It would be hard to get "creuses de Cancale" fresher, or for that matter at a lower price, than here. Fresh fish sales straight from the fishing boat are also popular along the German Baltic coast. Anyone who wants to buy freshly caught cod or herring directly from the fisherman in the harbour of Wismar has to be an early riser: the town’s remaining fishermen usually land their day’s catch around breakfast time. And a lot of German trout producers, too, sell their fish directly to their customers. This sales channel is in the meantime practically indispensable from an economic point of view. Almost all producers offer their products in farm shops or at weekly markets, both fresh and processed – mainly hot smoked. Some trout farmers even have their own snack stands or fish restaurants. Direct sales are more lucrative than supplying to wholesalers and retailers. And they enable even smaller enterprises with relatively low production volumes to stay in business.
Remaining agile in a dynamic marketplace
The Internet offers fishermen and retail shops ways to sell their catches that were unheard of a decade ago. Young (and older) consumers have quickly understood the benefits of online shopping, and vendors must keep pace with the latest, continually changing developments.
Sellers enjoy superior visibility, allowing smaller concerns to compete with larger businesses, with 24/7 exposure to a wider national, even global, audience. They also benefit from enhanced business management. By tracking data about customer purchases, sellers learn their customers’ preferences and are able to target those groups with specific offers. An Internet presence allows businesses to remain agile in a dynamic marketplace.
Two businesses, while maintaining their physical stores in Vigo, Spain, have embraced the new technology. La Pescadería de mi Barrio (My Neighbourhood Fishmonger) is a business-to-business (B2B) concern. Delmaralplato is both B2B and business to customer, selling to restaurants and consumers.
GlobalG.A.P. is one of the world’s most important certification standards for food safety. Initially, it acted as a business-to-business standard, attesting that the products of certified suppliers were safe and their production sustainable. In the meantime, however, GlobalG.A.P. is increasingly becoming a business-to-consumer standard.
Elimination of tariffs, quotas to benefit EU exporters
Combined, the EU and Japan have 9 percent of the world’s population, 28 percent of its GDP and 36 percent of its trade. Billions of euros’ worth of goods and services are traded between the two economies; hundreds of thousands of jobs are directly supported by this trade, and many more hundreds of thousands have been created by investment by the EU and Japan in each other’s economies. In seafood alone, two-way trade reached a record EUR395 million in 2016. Combined, the EU and Japan together account for over one-third of global seafood trade.