Alaska pollock industry officials travel to China to meet seafood importers
A group of Alaskan pollock industry officials, in China for a 10-day trade visit to explore opportunities in the country, met with senior U.S. Foreign Agricultural Service officials at the United States’ Embassy in Beijing last week.
The tour, sponsored in large part by a grant from the Emerging Market Department of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service, also included stops in Qingdao and Shanghai.
“We were honored to have concluded our trip with a visit to the U.S. embassy to share with agricultural trade leadership the insights we gathered on the importance of this market to Wild Alaska pollock,” GAPP Chief Executive Officer Craig Morris said. “[Agricultural Minister] Counselor [Bobby] Richey and his team spent significant time with our leaders discussing the changing Chinese consumer, seafood consumption, and our desire to build more demand for wild Alaska pollock in the Chinese market, immediately. In meeting after meeting this week we heard passionately from our customers their desire to source wild Alaska pollock because of its superior consistency and quality. We have loyal, excited customers who want our help in growing demand for our fish here in China, and as we told FAS staff, we just have to help level the playing field for them to thrive.”
The industry leaders met with customers such as Ding Wei Tai, China’s biggest surimi seafood products producer, and Beiyang Jiamei, one of the country’s biggest seafood importers.
China consumes more surimi seafood products than any other country in the world, but at the same time, consumes only a tenth of the per capita amount that Korean and Japanese consumers do. The group of industry representatives discussed how they could introduce Alaskan pollock brands to consumers in the country and build a recognizable brand for the product.
“It is hard to overstate the potential for our industry in China,” Morris said. “I know we are all leaving here full of knowledge but more importantly enthusiasm to raise awareness and demand for wild Alaska pollock in China. I’m excited to get home, roll up my sleeves, and look to make headway in that market, today.”