Barcelona blog: Sustainable, successful


Chris Dove, contributing editor, reporting from Malaga, Spain

Published on
October 17, 2012

The seafood industry is increasingly focusing its attention on the future as sustainability issues and aquaculture production top the agenda on the third and final day of Seafood Barcelona.

Producing 25 percent of the global production of farmed salmon, Marine Harvest is a shining example in its pursuit of fish for a better life. Farmed in Norway and freshly flown in whole from Zaragoza to Barcelona this morning, the company displayed salmon loin fillets in modified atmospheric packaging — the initial phase of its latest retail push.

“Ninety-nine percent of the salmon in Spain is sold as fillets. We’ve introduced this new packaging for the first time in Barcelona to see how well the market responds to taste tests under our new technical specifications,” said Patrick Wiik, sales and marketing manager. “We’ll be monitoring progress with a view to retail launch when we’re satisfied we’ve got everything absolutely right.”

The lure of Spain’s huge seafood market convinced Ecuadorian aquaculture companies to exhibit their certified frozen vannamei shrimp here, complementing their long-standing presence at the Brussels and Vigo events.

“Brussels is an international buyers environment and the April timing is excellent. Whilst Vigo attracts more Spanish buyers, Barcelona combines the two with its highly international appeal and autumn schedule. We came to meet suppliers from Spain, France, the UK, Italy and The Netherlands, and we’ve met our objectives,” said Mercedes Plaza, sales representative for Omarsa.

Barcelona’s international appeal similarly attracted Ecuadorian exhibitor EDPACIF and its sustainable white shrimp.

“We always attend Diversified’s Brussels and Boston events, so Barcelona was a natural extension for us. Because of our export focus, trade shows are very important and the clients we’ve met in Barcelona are quite different to those in Vigo,” said EDPACIF’s Marcelo Velez.

Having organized the stands for Omarsa and EDPACIF, Lucia Espinosa from CORPEI echoed her Ecuadorian colleagues’ enthusiasm. “Barcelona has been very good business for us, so we’ll be back next year.”

Perú Pacifico cemented Latin America’s sustainable product showcase with farmed half shell scallops targeting exports at European and specifically Spanish consumers.

The Sustainable Fisheries Partnership promoted its Aquaculture and Fishery Improvement Projects working worldwide with buyers, suppliers and producers. Dick Jones, program director for the Americas, announced a sustainable markets program manager for Spain will be hired by the end of the year, while UK-based Iain Pollard, responsible for buyer engagement with Britain’s Big Four Supermarkets [Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons] added: “As we work to improve conditions in the water, company endorsements such as MSC certification certainly help. Real and positive action is what is needed to protect future fish supplies.”

As Seafood Barcelona wrapped up, Diversified Business Communications’ show director, Liz Plizga, stamped her seal of approval on the three days' proceedings.

“We’ve been investigating staging a trade show in Spain for 15 years given the size of the market here.” said Plizga. “Exhibitors have responded well with excellent bookings for next year, so we’re very pleased with the results.”

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