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
May 22, 2012

Marlin and butterfish are becoming popular fare for first-class passengers on China’s flagship carrier, Air China, according to the company that supplies seafood to Beijing Air Catering Co. Ltd.

Marlin may, however, be replaced on the first-class menu this year on cost grounds, according to Michael D. Liu, assistant to the general manager (purchasing) at food importer Beijing Foreign Trade Food Service Co. (BFT). A respected trade company

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Published on
May 21, 2012

High-end Madagascar shrimp will grace China’s tables beginning next month, when the first containers arrive from the African island nation. French-owned UNIMA Group plans to import 200 tons into Greater China (including Hong Kong and Taiwan) this year, with plans for an additional 500 to 800 tons in 2013, according to Stephane Jackiw, head of commercial and retail sales at UNIMA.

Jackiw told SeafoodSource that demand for quality shrimp makes

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Published on
May 20, 2012

Trade experts in China’s seafood processing hub of Qingdao are optimistic that a new trade pact between China, Japan and Korea would propel modernization of the city’s industry and drive trade. Negotiations between China, Japan and Korea on a free trade pact will begin this summer and are scheduled to be completed in two years. Chinese sources have suggested that the agreement could lift the country’s GDP by 2.5 percent.

The pact will give

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Published on
May 14, 2012

Key economic data released last week by Beijing may have disappointed those who watch China’s economy, but it’s unlikely to halt the aggressive expansion plans of retailers and caterers seeking opportunities, particularly in China’s vast surroundings. Retail sales increased 14.1 percent in nominal terms in April, down from 15.2 percent in March and the slowest pace since December 2006. In real terms, retail sales rose 10.7 percent, the

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Published on
May 9, 2012

A recent visit to China by an Irish seafood delegation has reported a “clear demand” for boarfish in the Chinese market. According to Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the Irish state-run seafood marketing board, Ireland currently holds the largest quota for this species at more than 56,000 metric tons, a 155 percent increase on last year’s quota.

Historically, this small fish was used for fishmeal, but the potential to sell the abundant species

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Published on
May 2, 2012

Cuts in China’s tariffs are unlikely to have much of a stimulative effect on seafood imports, say industry experts. On Monday, the State Council, China’s cabinet, promised it would be “appropriately broadening ” China’s imports of consumer goods as well as raw materials for energy and food.

“More money for import promotion will be added to the present money set aside for developing foreign trade,” read the statement. Local

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Published on
April 29, 2012

A large banner advertising organic yellow croaker was conspicuous this spring at the entrance to Xiangmanlou Restaurant, a spacious dining house catering to a mid- to upper-tier clientele near the west gate of Chaoyang Park, one of Beijing’s most salubrious addresses.

However, the certified-organic yellow croaker, advertised as from coastal Fujian province, has struggled to find sales and has been withdrawn in the past two weeks, several months

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Published on
April 29, 2012

Linking up with one of Beijing’s most successful and expansion-minded restaurant chains appears to be a smart marketing move for Canada-based Clearwater Seafood. The company’s logo appears prominently in the menu at outlets of Jindingxuan — the name means “golden roof altar” — a Cantonese-style chain popular with families and late-night diners.

Clearwater’s logos printed in Jindingxuan’s menus identify the company’s imported

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Published on
April 22, 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 11, 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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