Brussels blog: Presidents, winners on Day 1
By Steven Hedlund, SeafoodSource editor
24 April, 2012
Tuesday, 6:45 p.m. — The moment we’ve all been waiting for — the winners of the Seafood Prix d’Elite new products competition have been unveiled. Click here to read the story. I interviewed the grand prize winners — Kaviari and Prins & Dingemanse — on camera. Click here to watch the interview with Kaviari and here to watch the interview with Prins & Dingemanse.
Tuesday, 3:30 p.m. — American Indian Foods International Export is exhibiting at the European Seafood Exposition for the first time this year, representing five tribal seafood companies, four from Alaska and one from Washington state. Supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it’s a new organization established to promote Native American-produced foods, including salmon, king crab, clams and oysters, for export. The organization is currently focusing on the European and Asian markets but has an eye on the South American market, where there’s a lot of potential, said Nathan Notah, the program director.
Tuesday, 2:35 p.m. — I just returned from a luncheon titled “The Evolution of Sustainability and the Role of Choice” and hosted by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute and Iceland Responsible Fisheries. The luncheon featured Iceland President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, who had a lot of interesting things to say about the sustainable fisheries movement and Iceland’s bond with Alaska in his 20-minute talk. Click here to read the story.
Tuesday, 2:15 p.m — Executives from SalmonChile are at the show meeting with attendees to spread the word about how Chilean farmed salmon is on the rebound after infectious salmon anemia (ISA) decimated production for the past several years. Maria Eugenia Wagner, president of SalmonChile, met with attendees in Hall 9 to discuss the various challenges that the industry faces, including ensuring that companies are working together to prevent ISA from returning to the region.
“If one company [doesn’t follow sanitary practices], they all pay the bill,” said Wagner. The farmed salmon industry employs approximately 75 percent of the population in the Puerto Montt region. “We are working with the people of the region to develop [infrastructure] together,” added Wagner.
Tuesday, 12:45 a.m. — Andrew Bassford of the not-for-profit International Pole & Line Foundation dropped by the SeafoodSource / SeaFood Business stand to talk about the new organization and how it will provide support for fishing communities that are heavily reliant on tuna. The organization will also ensure that the growing demand for pole-and-line caught tuna can be met without compromising the sustainability of the fisheries, said Bassford.
Tuesday, 11:40 a.m. — It’s sleek, très chic and so colorful that it’s hard to miss. Produced by France’s Kaviari, en-K de caviar® is a portable, 15-gram tin of Osetra caviar, complete with a spoon, that can be neatly tucked away in a purse or shirt pocket. The tins come in six colors — black, gold, silver, indigo blue, apple green and fuchsia pink — each of which reflects a different mood, explained Katya Deslandes, assistant marketing and communications manager for Kaviari. Fashionable it is, but did it win over the Seafood Prix d’Elite judges?
Tuesday, 11:20 a.m. — Before the winners of the Seafood Prix d’Elite new products competition are unveiled tonight, I caught up with two more of the 37 finalists. DGM Shipping is the first Estonia-based company to be a finalist in the competition. Its Spicy Sprat Fillet, marketed under the Briis brand, is wrapped in clear plastic packaging, so the fish is visible, which isn’t usually the case with tinned fish. The product, which is very popular in the Baltic states, is designed to appeal to younger generations who may not be as familiar with it, said Dmitri Matvejev, a DGM Shipping board member.
Tuesday, 11:05 a.m. — It’s the 20th anniversary of the European Seafood Exposition, and some exhibitors and visitors, have attended all 20 editions. And I found one as soon as I stepped away from the SeafoodSource / SeaFood Business stand — Carlos Jones of South Africa’s I&J. “It’s big, but it’s manageable,” he said, reminiscing about the past 20 editions.
Jones also talked about the German market, and how the Marine Stewardship Council program has opened up that market to higher-priced fish. South Africa’s deep-sea hake trawl fishery is MSC certified, and I&J operates the country’s largest hake fleet.
Tuesday, 10:40 a.m. — Here’s some more Marine Stewardship Council news: Icelandic Group PLC has achieved Marine Stewardship Council certification for all of its cod and haddock originating from Iceland. Click here to read more.
Tuesday, 10:15 a.m. CEST — Show’s open. The aisles are already beginning to fill up. Looking forward to a productive three days.
Tuesday, 8:35 a.m. CEST — I’m about to head over to the press room to scour for news, as exhibitors begin shuffling into the Brussels Exhibition Centre. Here’s some Marine Stewardship Council news: the Faroe Islands saithe fishery has entered full assessment for MSC certification. In 2011, Faroese saithe landings totaled 27,550 metric tons, of which the client — JFK/Kosin and Faroe Origin — harvested more than 50 percent.
Tuesday, 8:20 a.m. CEST — Don’t miss SeafoodSource Assistant Editor April Forristall’s account of the Seafood Prix d’Elite judging, which took place at the Sheraton Brussels Hotel on Monday. If you’re looking to launch a new product into the marketplace, it’s definitely worth a read. As April wrote, the judges were impressed with the overall level of innovation, but lamented that often the seafood was overpowered by a sauce or coating. The winners will be unveiled tonight in Auditorium 2000 of the Brussels Exhibition Grounds. Please join us for the reception, which kicks off at 6:15 p.m.
Tuesday, 7:30 a.m. CEST — The 20th edition of the European Seafood Exposition is only two-and-a-half hours from opening. Check SeafoodSource frequently for updates from the show floor. Also, if you’re at the show, please drop by the SeafoodSource and SeaFood Business stand in Hall 9 near the Patio entrance and adjacent to the Scottish Pavilion.
24 April, 2012