‘Give us fish’

Whitefish processing

Europe’s seafood processing sector craves access to more raw materials

As well as being the world’s biggest seafood market, the European Union is also one of its leading processing regions, with a large proportion of an estimated 10.1 million tonnes of raw materials going into the industry ahead of consumption by the EU-27’s estimated 450 million residents.

According AIPCE-CEP, the EU Fish Processors and Traders Association, this volume comprises some 4.7 million tonnes of domestic fisheries and aquaculture production of 4.7 million tonnes (with 1.1 million tonnes going to non-food use) and 9 million tonnes of third-country imports (with the EU exporting around 2.4 million tonnes of products to overseas markets).

“The economic value of seafood processing in Europe and the trade is large – larger than many people think – with a direct value of €25 billion based on present prices. And if we count the multipliers of services, logistics etc it increases to €35 billion. It’s also a big employer with 135,000 direct employees across Europe,” AIPCE President Guus Pastoor told a recent AIPCE-CEP Webinar.

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