‘Show that you care’
Next generation tell current CEOs how industry should look in the future
THE current leaders of aquaculture companies must be more visible and active in the public debate about the industry if they want to improve its reputation. This was the message from the next generation of leaders, who held a workshop following AquaVision 2016 to create a vision for how young people wanted the industry to look in 2030.
Outlining the main recommendations from this forum, which brought together people from different parts of society, including the industry, NGOs and young politicians, was Nina Grieg, business development manager of Grieg Seafood.
She told delegates at this year’s AquaVision:‘If we want an improved reputation we need to take action today.’
In Norway, reputation has become a critical issue; it hinders growth, drives cost, and is a reason for many to question whether ocean farming really is a viable industry for the future.That should make it a top management priority and focus, urged Grieg.
She said her own biggest frustration when it comes to reputation is that ones’.
‘We will not have a better reputation in 2030 if we do not change the way we communicate.We need to start building trust and let people know that we care.
‘Building relationships and trust cannot be outsourced to industry organisations or a communication advisor.Trust requires each company to be personal, and it requires us to be visible.’
need all of you’, she told the assembled CEOs and management teams from around the world.Although the young leaders had focused on the salmon sector, their recommendations had global relevance, she said.
‘Since we share the same oceans and markets, we need ambassadors across countries and maybe even across species. If we are clear and precise about taking social responsibility we will get a better reputation…we need to give a personal commitment.’
Up on the stage with Grieg was another young leader, Mads Martinsen, managing director of Skretting Norway. He said today’s leaders must empower the young and engage more with schoolchildren.
‘The kids in high school today are hopefully going to be working for our industry in 2030, probably they’re going to be working for an NGO, or being politicians, or being a mum or dad, deciding on what to buy for dinner.
‘So start when they are young, engage with teachers and work together with school authorities, but please do it together because together you are much stronger and more credible than if you are alone.’
Putting money into training programmes was a key recommendation, he said, to enable young people who want to get into the industry to have a chance –‘even if they haven’t studied aquaculture or weren’t born into it, like Nina and myself’.
‘Give the young people already in your organisations the opportunity to be good ambassadors for our industry, give them the opportunity to speak up about our industry.’
Grieg said a very powerful exercise at the workshop was to envision how a strong industry would look in 2030.
‘In 2030 in Norwegian salmon farming, the biological and environmental - trophic aquaculture is the standard.’
By 2030, the industry will have full control of biomass and will be able to - ture is truly regarded the most sustainable way to produce food’.
In 2030, the sector will be proactive, with self-imposed and ambitious environmental goals, and short term crisis management will be a rare case.
She revealed that 60 per cent of the leaders at the workshop agreed that the aquaculture industry
‘I believe this has improved quite substantially in Norway in the last years. But the long term wellbeing of our industry needs more attention towards 2030 if we want to reach the envisioned scenario.’
Key to achieving a valuable and viable industry is aiming for a higher innovation rate and a genuine and targeted focus on sustainability.
Martinsen said the way to reach these goals was to join forces and collaborate. Forty years ago there was a lot of collaboration between companies, the government and researchers, but he didn’t believe that was still there in Norway.
- cantly better than others, and sometimes that is to do with nature, but often it is to do with collaboration.
In these successful regions they not only talk but share their problems and their production data. This allows them to come to the best actions on their issues. Sharing production data is getting more and more relevant, with digitalisation, machine learning and so on.
Companies that share production data, not only internally but externally, are really being open and transparent and people have a better chance to understand what the industry is about.
Grieg said ‘we challenge you to collaborate more’. ‘We want this industry, which we’re really proud of, to be more visible.’
Let people know, she said, that ‘we care and that they can trust us to solve the challenges that we have today and that we will get in the future’.
When her generation is leading the industry in 2030, she will be ‘very disappointed if the problems that are presented in 2030 are the same as we have today.’
“We will be very disappointed if the problems that are presented in 2030 are the same as we today” have
Above: Nina Grieg and