Lots more of 'more fish more often' in new plan

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 21 Apr 2017

ENCOURAGING more people to eat more fish more often, developing projects which support the reputation of the industry and helping to provide vital data remains at the fore of Seafish's work in the near future.

The industry authority on Grimsby's proud export has published its annual plan for 2017-2018, the final year in the organisation's current corporate plan.

Chief executive Marcus Coleman told how the programme for the Humber Seafood Institute headquartered team has been developed in partnership with the three sector panels that contribute to the strategy.

He said: "I am delighted to announce the launch of our annual plan for 2017-18. This builds on the good work we delivered in the last two years of the corporate plan and sets out what we hope to achieve this year. The annual plan has been shaped by the industry we serve and sets out a work plan that will have a real and lasting impact on the seafood industry.

"We won't just focus on progressing the activity outlined in our current corporate plan – we're already looking ahead at how we can keep building on its successes and have started working with industry via each of our sector panels to develop our next corporate plan for 2018 to 2021."

In Grimsby, where the largest concentration of seafood processors exists, acting as the gateway to UK retail, a keen focus in on how the public will be encouraged to eat more fish.

Much of the levy that funds the work comes from these businesses.

Seafish's annual plan sets out the following:

  • Our successful Fish is the Dish digital campaign will continue to build our social networks, growing the web audience for our key messages.
  • We will expand our Fish and Chip campaign to target the wider food service market, and further develop our national awards
  • We will target the trade press to build the profile of seafood and to ensure it is valued by retailers and food service
  • A full range of support materials will allow our industry partners to add volume to our consumer messages, culminating in a Seafood Week campaign.
  • We will expand our acclaimed education programme, engaging schools and further education colleges.

On reputation, Mr Coleman said: "The UK seafood industry has a lot to be proud of and can rightly claim to be leading the world in developing innovative solutions to the challenges of sourcing and supplying seafood.

"Our work to enhance this reputation is twofold: to support our industry partners to make informed and responsible decisions; and to work with the media to help ensure the industry is better understood. In both strands of work, industry partnership is key."

Technical teams will seek to enhance reputation by:

  • Revusing the Responsible Fishing Scheme (RFS) to include standards on social elements of fishing, including welfare and safety, allowing certified vessels to demonstrate their compliance with best practice and the seafood supply chain to demonstrate its commitment to the same.
  • Continuing the fishermen's safety and training programmes to reduce the risks associated with what is one of our most dangerous professions, with profile raising planned to ensure the work is better understood.
  • Developing a range of innovative tools, helping to communicate the industry through film, infographics, reports, case studies and other web-based resources.

It will also actively monitor media coverage "responding where necessary to protect our industry's interests".

On the informing of decisions, the Seafish Risk Assessment for Sourcing Seafood is being flagged as as the primary source of information "which will enable commercial buyers to make informed choices with regard to purchasing seafood".

It will be expanded to include aquaculture, social and welfare factors, as well as nutritional signposts and culinary information.

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