Mark Godfrey

Contributing Editor

Mark Godfrey is an Irish journalist covering the agriculture and fisheries sectors in Asia, with a focus on China. Proficient in Mandarin, he has frequently traveled across China's fisheries and aquaculture regions and learned the inner workings of China's corporate world during a nearly three-year stint at the Financial Times' “China Confidential” publication. He has also reported widely across Southeast Asia and the former Soviet Union. He has educational certificates in agriculture and food science, as well as Mandarin.

Published on
April 23, 2012

After a showing at the China Fisheries & Seafood Expo in Qingdao last November, Spanish brand La Gula del Norte, owned by Angulas Aguinaga S.A., will soon distribute its surimi products to high-end Chinese supermarkets and restaurants.

La Gula baby eel surimi products will be sold beginning in May at City Shop and City Super outlets in Shanghai, chain stores targeting the city’s wealthier citizens, according to Miguel Molina, executive

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Published on
April 12, 2012

Inflation figures for seafood outpaced price rises in other food categories as China’s consumer price index (CPI) inched back up in March, according to figures published this week by the National Bureau of Statistics in Beijing.

Food prices have been blamed for a rebound in inflation in China, to 3.6 percent in March from a low of 3.2 percent in February. A weakening of China’s import growth, meanwhile, has led to concern that demand in China

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Published on
April 4, 2012

Calls to seafood processors and fish farms in China tend to reveal rising labor costs and access to credit as the two key concerns.

Gradual finance reforms targeted at China’s small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) may offer some hope to the largely privately owned seafood sector in 2012, as the government shows no sign of letting up on a credit-tightening drive aimed at real estate and certain state-dominated industrial sectors. A lack of

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Published on
April 2, 2012

Despite a string of initiatives on food safety promised by Beijing policymakers, China’s latest seafood-safety mess looks worryingly familiar.

Shrimp injected with a translucent glue-like gelatin was initially spotted by a consumer in Tianjin in September 2009, whose blogging on the issue drew little national notice. However, when the same girl found the same gelatin-injected shrimp in a retail outlet in Xingtai Food Market in Tianjin in

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Published on
April 2, 2012

Ireland’s seafood sector will travel in force to China this month in a delegation of food exporters led by Simon Coveney, the country’s agricultural minister.

The delegation, which will visit several Chinese cities from 10 to 15 April, will include representatives of seafood companies and Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Ireland’s seafood promotion board. BIM sees growing sales to China as vital to its plan to expand the Irish seafood sector to

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Published on
March 27, 2012

Foreign aquaculture insurers are keen to sell to producers in China, where coverage remains limited. But a lot of challenges persist, explained Rui Gomes Ferreira, head of Longline Environment Ltd., a UK-based firm offering risk assessment and insurance surveys in China and Southeast Asia.

Aquaculture insurance covers the death of stocks due to a set of listed perils. A non-comprehensive list includes losses attributed to storm or typhoon damage,

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Published on
March 19, 2012

While there are signs that China’s economic growth is moderating, rising labor costs remain a challenge amongst the country’s seafood industry. Local seafood processing facilities are sacrificing profits to secure labor, said Landy Chow, head of Siam Canadian’s operations here.

“At this moment in China factories are running at a margin of 1 to 3 percent, which is very low,” he said. “Some factories did hire less in order to

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Published on
March 15, 2012

China’s middle classes are increasingly being catered to by retail chains opening stores tailored in layout and prices to the country’s wealthy.

Based in a marble-lined Beijing residential compound below a Starbucks and a fitness club, City Shop emphasizes its imported food lines. A City Shop outlet in Beijing’s business district charges RMB 266 for a kilogram of Norwegian salmon, over 50 percent more expensive than the price at nearby

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Published on
March 9, 2012

China’s freshwater fish farmers may be relieved this week to find that water quality is a top priority for 2012 in the premier Wen Jiabao’s state-of-the-union style work report to the annual National People’s Congress. Government has marked RMB 1.8 trillion for “water conservation” — largely plugging leaks and building wastewater treatment plants — through 2015, reiterated Wen, who also promised to raise urban and industrial water

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Published on
March 6, 2012

E-commerce, wildly popular in traffic-paralyzed cities, is fast becoming a cost-effective option for seafood traders. Extensive seafood offerings have popped up on the country’s leading shopping portal, Taobao.com, and online grocery store Yihaodian.com. Traders on both websites point to the lower costs of doing business as well as the increasing acceptance of online shopping in China.

Seafood marketing professionals see online sales as a

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