At Seafood Expo Asia, Canadian sockeye exporter says Hong Kong waking up to sustainability

Published on
September 7, 2017

Efforts to promote sustainability in Hong Kong are showing results, according to Steve Johansen, head of Canadian sockeye exporter Organic Ocean.

Johansen points to a local World Wildlife Fund (WWF) sustainability awareness program that now reaches more than 1,000 restaurants in the city. It also helps that many of the top chefs at the city’s leading hotels are Western and sustainability-conscious, he said.

Eager to sell in Hong Kong and China in order to “spread the sustainability gospel,” Johansen explained at Seafood Expo Asia on Tuesday, 7 September that “there’s plenty of demand in Canada and the U.S. because salmon is hard to get."

“But the cookie monster lives over here,” he said. “This is the biggest market in the world. This is where we need to make a change.”

However “greenwashing is a big problem” in the seafood sector, Johansen said. 

“There are people who want to do it and people who have to do it,” he said. “The hope is everyone has to get on board or there’ll be nothing left.”

Johansen is distributing in Hong Kong through the House of Fine Foods, a Hong Kong importer and retailer of imported food which also sells farmed sea bass and red shrimp from Italy as well as lobsters from Australia. 

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