No time for sissies
It's easy to be negative in today's economy. Let's face it, the recession is forcing people to cut back - they're just not spending nearly as freely as they used to, and that's hurting the seafood industry.
But the attitude at Monday's International Boston Seafood Show and Seafood Processing America was unexpectedly upbeat.
"Attendees were pleasantly surprised, and they didn't know what to expect," said Mary Larkin, VP of seafood expositions for event organizer Diversified Business Communications of Portland, Maine, which also publishes SeafoodSource.com. "People who need to do business are here. In tough times, it's important to be seen."
And it's important to be positive. Who's going to buy your products if you're focused on the negative?
Although the economy, and when it will turn around, was a common theme on the show floor and in the conference rooms, talk of the numerous other challenges facing the seafood industry this year was just as loud, if not louder.
Two subjects that stood out were sustainability and economic fraud, and the industry's willingness to address these issues. The number of buyers incorporating sustainability into their purchasing criteria is increasing by the day, as is the number of buyers working to prevent short weighting and other forms of economic fraud.
Sure, times are tough. But the seafood industry is tougher.
Lee French, VP of seafood merchandising for Price Chopper supermarkets, put it best when he said at Monday's "What High Profile Buyers Want" conference, "There are no sissies in seafood."