The National Fisheries Institute, a trade group representing the U.S. seafood industry, has agreed to house the Global Shrimp Council, which is leading an effort to initiate an international shrimp market campaign.
Formally launched at the Global Shrimp Forum in Utrecht, the Netherlands, on 6 September 2023, the Global Shrimp Council is a producer-led promotional body created to market and encourage shrimp consumption globally, according to Gabriel Luna, the owner of Ecuadorian shrimp trading and insights firm Glunashrimp.
Luna and Manta Bay CEO David Castro, the council’s co-founders, outlined their vision for the council in a SeafoodSource webinar on 25 October.
On 5 December, NFI announced it had agreed to work with the organization to create a precompetitive partnership designed to promote U.S. shrimp consumption. It did not say whether the council will operate in a similar manner or differently than the other species-specific collaborations, which include councils for tuna, crab, shrimp, Mexican shrimp, sushi, and salmon.
“We are excited to get started on this work,” NFI Vice President of External Affairs and Councils Brandon Phillips said. “Creating a structure for the group, collecting funding, and instituting a management structure aren’t quite as sexy as live-fire promotion and marketing. But it’s these foundational things that need to be done first. And they are getting underway.”
Luna said the organization has already received significant financial commitments from global industry players, but that it is aiming to raise between USD 8 million and USD 10 million [EUR 7.6 million and EUR 9.6 million] from donations to get the council off the ground in 2024. The council has hired Miguel Barcenas, the creator of the highly successful “Avocados from Mexico” promotional campaign, to create an outline for the structure of the council, which Luna said he hoped would include shrimp industry participants from around the globe.
As part of NFI, the Global Shrimp Council will focus on crafting governance, finance, and membership composition, followed by financing its leadership team and funding arrangements.
Luna told SeafoodSource in October 2023 that talks were advancing for NFI to host the council to give assurance to its participants that the funding will be sequestered by a third party and allocated appropriately.
“The NFI is the perfect third party. It gives the participants a reliable partner and somebody who is not a producer who can transparently hold the funds, manage the funds, and wire that money to wherever it needs to be wired based on the council's instructions,” Luna said.
NFI Chief Strategy Officer Gavin Gibbons previously told SeafoodSource his organization was open to the idea of playing host to the council, but it had not yet decided whether to do so as of 2 October.
Luna said he was excited NFI had agreed to host the council.
“In the Netherlands we received initial funding commitments from some of the biggest shrimp producers in the world,” Castro said. “They see the need for this type of promotion and will be the driving force behind it. We are excited to work with them.”
Photo courtesy of National Fisheries Institute