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 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

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 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 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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Published on
April 3, 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 1, 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
April 1, 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
March 26, 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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