EU-funded project launched to boost Welsh seafood sector

Published on
February 24, 2020

A new industry project has been launched aimed at raising the consumer profile of seafood produced in Wales.

Called “Port to Plate,” the project seeks to raise public awareness about the quality and diversity of fish and shellfish caught off the Welsh coast, and to increase these products’ share of the domestic market.

It will work alongside the new #WelshSeafood campaign to promote the seasonality of the Welsh catch, and also share stories about those people who have their lives shaped by the industry.

Funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), Port to Plate has been developed in conjunction with the Welsh seafood industry by Menter a Busnes with the support of U.K. trade body Seafish.

"The Port to Plate project is a great opportunity for seafood businesses across Wales to promote their produce and develop and grow their business further,” Port to Plate Project Manager Philip McGrath said. “Not only does the project seek to work with businesses to develop new markets for Welsh seafood on both a local and international level, but also to raise consumer awareness of the species available and seasonality, resulting in more people eating local seafood and increasing the local market.”

According to the U.K. government’s Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra), the average person in Wales eats 145.9 grams of seafood per week, which is lower than the U.K. average of 152.8 grams per person per week.

Meanwhile, Seafish has appointed Jon Parker as chair of the Seafish Wales Advisory Committee (SWAC), which is tasked with ensuring the effective delivery of Seafish services for the benefit of the Welsh sector across the supply chain.

The committee, made up of representatives of the Welsh industry from fishing and aquaculture, distribution and processing, to foodservice and retail, is responsible for advising the annual work program for the Seafish team in Wales in line with the Seafish Corporate Plan for 2018 to 2021.

Parker, who replaces outgoing chair James Wilson, started his career in freshwater aquaculture and has since worked with a number of industry levy bodies, the civil service, and private sector. With a background in economic development, he has supported a number of new and established seafood businesses in Wales to grow and develop. He has been chairing the Seafish Processing and Importers Panel since 2015 and represents its interests on the Seafish Board.

SWAC meets twice a year, with the next meeting scheduled to take place on 15 April, 2020.

Photo courtesy of Richard Bowden/Shutterstock

Contributing Editor reporting from London, UK

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