THE seafood supply chain in England has launched a long term strategy aimed at creating a thriving and sustainable industry through an ambitious new plan unveiled yesterday.
Called Seafood 2040 (SF2040), it identifies actions for how the industry can grow to the recommended consumption level of two servings of fish per person per week, while ensuring continued sustainability of supply in both the wild caught and aquaculture sectors.
The framework has been created by an expert panel with members from across the seafood value chain including catching, aquaculture, processing, international trade, retail, food service and science.
Alison Austin, chair of Seafood 2040 and an independent Seafish board member, said: ‘The English seafood sector is facing a raft of opportunities and challenges over the coming decades: Brexit, opening up new markets, access to raw material and labour, as well as environmental pressures, to name a few. Planning for the future to ensure the industry thrives is vital.
‘For this to happen, change must come from within the industry through continued commitment and collaboration across all parts of the supply chain, including government.’
The first step to bring this programme to life, she said, is to create a Seafood Industry Leadership Group which will oversee the delivery of SF2040.
This will be made up of key industry leaders and a representative from Seafish and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
Welcoming the establishment of the new group, fisheries minister George Eustice said: ‘As we leave the EU, we want to see our fishing industry seize the opportunity to create a more profitable, sustainable and innovative seafood sector.
‘I look forward to seeing how this group can work together to drive forward the ambitions in this strategy and unlock the industry’s vast potential.’ He had asked for such a task force two and a half years ago.
The membership comprises: chair – Alison Austin, independent member of the Seafish board;
ports and auctions – Martyn Boyers, British Ports Association (BPA); wild catch – Matthew Cox, National Federation of Fishermen’s organisations; wild catch under 10m – Dave Cuthbert, New Under Ten Fishermen’s Association; shellfish production – David Jarrad, Shellfish Association of Great Britain; processing – Mike Mitchell, Seafood Industry Alliance; science – Dr Neil Auchterlonie, IFFO, the Marine Ingredients Organisation; land-based Aquaculture – Oliver Robinson, British Trout Association; aquaculture – Richard Slaski, Scottish Aquaculture Research Forum/Fisheries Innovation Scotland; retail – Jeremy Ryland-Langley, Waitrose; and food service – Laky Zervudachi, Direct Seafoods;
Picture: The Seafood 2040 task force