Last year’s visit to Iceland was an opportunity to underline the town's credentials to a new Icelandic administration. Organised with UK Trade and Investment and the UK Embassy, it gave those at the forefront of the seafood supply chain a feel for the future, with challenges and opportunities.
There have been significant changes that have contributed to the decline of fish to Grimsby these include:
More domestic processing with more processors focusing on fresh and frozen products for EU and US market.
Some vessels that have previously supplied Grimsby have been sold to processing companies, which are processing the fish rather than exporting.
Prices in the Icelandic markets have been very high, therefore it is better to sell the fish domestically e instead of sending to Grimsby.
We hope the above will change as we believe there is still a market for whole fish in Grimsby, the visit presented an opportunity to re-establish Grimsby / Humber credentials with Iceland as a destination for seafood.
Innovation is high on the agenda and maximisation of seafood by-products is being lead by Ocean Excellence. They have brought together different experts to look at the best possible way to maximise utilisation of a fish – something we can benefit from and explore collaboration opportunities across the board. This is something the industry in Grimsby can learn from. UK processors recover as much flesh as possible, and what is left goes to fishmeal. While there is always demand for fishmeal, there is a need to explore all options, and evaluate the benefits. This explains why Iceland is keen on domestic processing because they get the added value from the fish. They have really thought about it, and we should work with them.
They are fisheries experts and we should never underestimate our relationship with them. There is room for collaboration for our mutual benefit.
The FMA’s business plan, planning for the future to meet the demands of an ever changing and challenging seafood industry is finished.
Working in conjunction with Seafox Management Consultants we are prioritising projects in conjunction with strategic partners that will add value to the sector.
Some, not all, see a vision with the Association being more pro-active and with the right level of funding and resource (internal and or external) seizing an opportunity to drive the local seafood agenda locally, nationally and internationally.
The industry is facing a number of serious challenges, not least on issues such as security of supply, sustainability, marketing and the consumer perception of fish.
We need to:
§ Refocus to become the voice of the industry working with stakeholders and partners to establish sector influence
§ Create a marketing and promotional strategy including export opportunities
§ Review supply chain and assess cost reduction
§ Ensure sustainability by building on current trading relationships with Iceland and further development of the trade corridor to investigate the viability of new supply
§ Expand and promote heritage and the unique PGI status for traditionally smoked Grimsby fish.
We are pleased to announce our attendance at this year's Lincolnshire Show. It is our intention to showcase Lincolnshire & Humber finest seafood products for the first time in the Show's history. Supporting the initiative are The Seafish Authority, Grimsby Institute and leading seafood processing organisations from the region.
The Lincolnshire Show takes place over two days on 18th and 19th June and attracts 60,000 people. Grimsby and the surrounding Lincolnshire and Humber seafood processing cluster handles over 70% of the UK's processed seafood from artisan PGI smoked haddock to the nation’s favourite fish fingers and ready meals.
We plan to have local Chef's supporting us with cooking demonstrations too. The Grimsby Institute Group will have their mobile demonstration kitchen located adjacent to the seafood marquee.
The Seafish Industry Authority want to use the opportunity to promote consumption and increase awareness of sustainable seafood to the consumer; this is a major focus for Seafish, therefore working together with other organizations’ to support this local event is a simple, but effective way, to showcase our Industry to a large audience.
We’re delighted that Ursula Lidbetter, CEO of Lincoln Co-op and Chair of the Lincolnshire LEP has agreed to formally open the marquee.
The BICC is planning anumber of events in 2014 including the golf day at Forrest Pines on 24 June.
Other events will depend on sponsorship and include a regional seminar focusing on Nordic trade.
Additionally there will be events at the Icelandic Fisheries Exhibition in June.
Recently the FMA CEO accepted an invitation to give a presentation to 70 delegates from various Lincolnshire WI’s. They wanted to know about seafood sustainability and the industry in general. The WI should not be overlooked, they are a powerful lobby and more importantly consumers. The presentation was well received with good questions. They now understand fish availability, what the industry is doing to prevent overfishing and the value of the industry to the economy.
If all of those 70 delegates go back to their family and friends with a simple message that fish is not under threat , you can buy with confidence, it was well worth attending.
Grants are available but the amounts and the criteria are forever changing.
Despite the economic doom and gloom there is still grant money available from the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) and other sources.
For Professional advice please contact:
Simon Dwyer or Liz Baghurst of Seafox Management Consultants Ltd.
Simon Dwyer 07866 508 194 / Liz Baghurst 07817 471 525