SUCCESS Strategic Use of Competitiveness towards Consolidating the Economic Sustainability of the european Seafood sector
SUCCESSStrategic Use of Competitiveness towards Consolidating the Economic Sustainability of the european Seafood sector 

Baseline for competitiveness – Icelandic stakeholders

Key stakeholders from Icelandic seafood industries dropped by the World Café event in Reykjavík, on April 12th 2016, to share their views on: “Challenges and potential solutions to enhance the competitiveness of the fisheries and aquaculture sector in Europe"

The discussion focused on the importance of international collaboration and for Iceland to be counteractive to safeguard the competitiveness of the industry. Participants agreed on the need for strengthening of infrastructure, improved marketing strategies, and collaboration of the industry stakeholders and the authorities to build an image for their products. Data collection and verification of the economic, social and environmental performance of the industry, as well as the transparency of information, were considered key issues to ensure the competitiveness of the Icelandic seafood and aquaculture product.  The prioritised challenges and suggested ways to move forward were:

  • Fulfill goals towards COP21 Paris climate change agreement
    • The fishing fleet is the main contributor to CO2 emissions.  Continued efforts are needed to update vessels, use fewer vessels in fisheries and change to diesel (instead of crude oil) or other more environmentally friendly energy sources, more targeted fisheries and fewer fishing trips
  • Recapture the core understanding of sustainable sourcing as defined by FAO (1995) regarding     “conservation and sustainable use of fisheries”
  • More research efforts and assessment on the performance of the supply chain to verify e.g.  products´ environmental footprints, which are not communicated as part of sustainable sourcing verification like MSC or IRF (Iceland Responsible Fisheries)
  • Certification builds trust, and is sometimes a zero point or a baseline, which creates new opportunities. The uptake of voluntary standards on sustainability opens markets opportunities and they motivate progress when implementing new requirements
  • Need to clarify and prevent misunderstanding about the content of certifications on sustainability (economic, environmental and social)
  • Marketing and image building are based on telling a good story!
  • The fish industry in Iceland is competitive and successful. The “good stories” are on e.g. sustainable sourcing, fisheries management, high quality of products, innovation, traceability, certification against standards and social responsibility
  • Social media is an opportunity to reach out to the new generation of consumers. The younger generation trusts this form of communication and there are opportunities to develop and adapt consumer apps for marketing of fish

SUCCESS is a H2020 Research and Innovation Project (2015-2018)

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“This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 635188”