Brexit and supply chain remain major UK issues

Thórður Ægir Óskarsson Icelandic Ambassador to the UK, Thórður Ægir Óskarsson, welcomed guests to the Seafood Fayre
Industry Database

The impact of Brexit and issues around supply and demand were key topics at The Humber Seafood Summit.

150 policy makers and industry experts from the UK’s seafood sector gathered for Seafish’s event on 11 October to debate issues including employment, seafood security, responsible sourcing and consumption.

Marcus Coleman, CEO of Seafish, said: “As the doors close on yet another successful Humber Seafood Summit, we are reminded just how important it is to bring the industry together to address our shared challenges.

“This is reflected in the feedback we’ve received, with many delegates noting how useful it has been to meet with industry peers and to hear from experts on issues that matter to them and their businesses.”

Consumer engagement

Sebastien Metz co-founder of Sakana Consultant’s presentation on trade and Brexit from a European perspective led to a lively discussion around access to markets and labour.

There were several UK market insight sessions devoted to targeting the consumer in new and engaging ways.

Zoe Healey, head of scientific strategy, Europe at InVentiv Health Communications, delivered a session on how to use the different social media channels effectively to ensure the right message targets the right audience.

Claire Nuttall, founder of The Brand Incubator, talked to delegates about a gap in the market for retailers to offer smaller portions that provide the necessary nutrients at an affordable price.

Global expansion

Delegates also heard from Simon Dwyer, director of SeaFox, who explained how companies, such as Youngs and Icelandic Seachill, have successfully expanded into US, Australian and Japanese markets, but insisted, “We need to secure supply. If we haven’t got supply, we haven’t got an industry.”

On the topic of responsible sourcing, Mike Mitchell founder of Fairseas Ltd looked at the challenges facing the industry in terms of authenticity and provenance.

Jim Masters executive director of Fishing into the Future discussed the importance of collaboration between industry and science, emphasising the importance of data crunching to inform policy and action.

The summit’s keynote address came from George Eustice, Minister of State at DEFRA, via video, while the Icelandic Ambassador to the UK, Thórður Ægir Óskarsson, also welcomed guests to the Seafood Fayre on 10 October.

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