John Goodlad offers lessons for the industry on telling seafood’s story

John Goodlad believes the seafood industry is undervaluing the story of seafood and its ability to differentiate seafood in the broader protein market.

Goodlad is an advisor to the Sustainable Oceans Fund and the Fishmongers company and is chair of Fisheries Innovation Scotland. Previously, Goodlad worked at The Prince of Wales Sustainability Unit, Shetland Catch Limited, the Scottish Pelagic Advisory Group, and was the owner and managing director of North Atlantic Sea Farms. Goodlad also recently wrote a book about his experiences, “The Salt Roads: How Fish Made a Culture” investigating the role salt fish played in the history of the Shetland Islands and European commerce; The audiobook was released in August 2023.

“We've got a huge asset in the global seafood industry in terms of the culture and heritage and the stories," he said. 

Goodlad said the industry needs to dive deeper into telling the industry’s story when marketing its products.

“Seafood has inspired so many artists, not only visual artists but poets, novelists, musicians, filmmakers and in an office, [but] they never talk about their workplace with the same kind of feeling and emotion as a fisher does about his or her fishing boat,” he said.

Goodlad said seafood should be sold with more passion. There is also an opportunity to talk about the environmental contribution seafood communities are making to more sustainable food systems, he said.

“The carbon footprint of corn-fed beef can be 40 to 60 tons of carbon per ton of beef produced. For pork and lamb it can be 12 tons of carbon or greenhouse gases. This is compared to fish which at its highest it's about 1 to 2.5 tons of carbon and greenhouse gases per ton of seafood -- and then some fisheries are below 1,” he said.

You can listen to the entire interview here:

Photo by Ned Daly/SeafoodSource


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