Ice­land ex­porters urged to sell on­line

Fish Farmer - - European News -

SEAFOOD sup­pli­ers in Ice­land are be­ing urged to take ad­van­tage of the rapid growth in the vol­ume of fish be­ing sold in­ter­na­tion­ally on­line.

A re­cent re­port pre­pared by the Ice­land Ocean Clus­ter, a col­lec­tion of fish­ery re­lated busi­nesses, high­lights data from the United States, which show that 25 years ago, 90 per cent of all seafood was pur­chased in tra­di­tional su­per­mar­kets.

To­day, as use of the in­ter­net con­tin­ues to speed up, that fig­ure has dropped to just 30 per cent.

The re­port says: ‘It is es­ti­mated that by 2025, the sale of (all) food on­line in the US will be around 20 per cent of to­tal sales, five-fold from what it is now. It is thought 70 per cent of all Amer­i­cans will be us­ing the net to buy food within 10 years.’

Fish sales are grow­ing at a fast rate, which means there is much at stake for Ice­land, says the Ice­land Ocean Clus­ter.

Fish pro­tein is a high value prod­uct and com­pe­ti­tion in in­ter­na­tional mar­kets is be­com­ing tougher. It also posed chal­lenges for those ex­port­ing cod, Ice­land’s chief high qual­ity fish species, be­cause it was dif­fi­cult to es­tab­lish or prove the coun­try of ori­gin.

The re­port adds: ‘Nor­way has gained some­thing of a head start in cer­tain Euro­pean coun­tries by in­tro­duc­ing a Nor­we­gian cer­tifi­cate of ori­gin for its con­sumers in those coun­tries.’

China has a much larger use of on­line stores than other parts of the world. The on­line gi­ant Alibaba, for ex­am­ple, is plan­ning more than 2,000 stores over the next 10 years.

The re­port also refers to the fish fraud scan­dals in the United States, where many prod­ucts have been found to be from il­le­gal sources or de­lib­er­ately mis­la­belled.

This put Ice­land in a stronger po­si­tion than most of its fish­ing neigh­bours, not just be­cause of the high qual­ity of its prod­ucts but also be­cause the coun­try’s main ex­port­ing com­pa­nies were able to pro­vide a safe, year-round sup­ply.

And it could also of­fer a fully trans­par­ent foot­print from the trawler to the pro­cess­ing cen­tre, and then on to trans­porta­tion and sales.

Above: Fully trans­par­ent

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