France to promote finfish, scallops


Lindsey Partos, SeafoodSource contributing editor, reporting from Paris

Published on
November 24, 2009

In an effort to boost finfish and scallops sales, the French government has signed off on a EUR 350,000 (USD 524,345) marketing campaign to pepper the air waves with seafood advertisements.

The campaign will target a range of seafood selected in October by the industry, together with advisors from the French agency FranceAgriMer, the organization that instigated the promotion.

Hake, sea bream, mullet, herring, haddock, whiting, coley and crab were all identified; two 25-seconds ads will be employed to promote the species. Another 15-second ad will be dedicated to fresh scallops alone, aiming to “raise the profile of this high quality produce in the eyes of the consumer,” said FranceAgriMer.

France’s scallop industry has experienced a tough 2009, with the market taking a downward turn at the beginning of the year and weak prices due to a saturated market as the new season kicked off in October.

In a bid to soak up scallops unsold on the open market, for example, local producer organization OPBN in Basse-Normandie, a region on the northern coast of France, announced it would pay EUR 2.05 (USD 3.07) for unpurchased scallops.

And in an open letter in October, Pierre-Georges Dachicourt, president of the France’s National Maritime Fisheries Committee (NMFC), asked the country’s fisheries minister, Bruno Le Maire, to reinforce controls to stop the “unprecedented” arrival of illegal scallop imports. In response, Le Maire announced he would rapidly set up a “buy French” marketing campaign to encourage consumers to buy local product.

The FranceAgriMer campaign, dubbed “Fish from our Coast,” will initially target consumers for six weeks from in November and December across a range of radio stations, including the public channel France Inter as well as private channels Nostalgie and Chérie FM.

A second publicity wave will occur on the same radio channels at the end of January for fish, and February for scallops.

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