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Outlook 2017: Albion Fisheries VP Guy Dean

The next year is a lot of innovation, VP tells IntraFish.

Guy Dean, vice president of Vancouver-based Albion Fisheries, tells IntraFish 2017 will be busy with a merger, innovative packaging and a lot of industry collaboration.

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What were the three most significant developments for your business in the seafood industry in 2016?

2016 was an exciting time for us as we were  the recognized supplier of Wild MSC BC Salmon for the Brazil Olympics. We were honored to be able to participate and help these Olympics offer sustainable options to the athletes, volunteers and spectators.

While our organization has been focused on traceability and transparency throughout the supply chain for the last few years, it was interesting to note how much of a significant issue it started to become in 2016 within the balance of the industry -- not just from a food safety and environmental perspective but also to deal with social issues within our industry

Living and working in an area where consumers have a strong opinion regarding farmed seafood in the past, we continue to see an increasingly stronger acceptance of responsible aquaculture products within the marketplace. This is important in order for us to continue to promote and maintain a strong business model moving forward and support the long term viability of our industry.

Looking ahead, what will be the three most important developments in 2017?

New innovative packaging options for seafood will continue to increase in our industry. We are already seeing many companies moving into MAP packaging and skin pack lines for fresh. We believe this will become an increasingly mainstream option for retail appeal in the future.

The growing acceptance of GSSI benchmarking and the launch of FisheryProgress.org with a list of credible FIP's will allow retailers and food service operators more options to meet their sustainability goals in 2017.

In 2017, we believe there will be a greater acceptance of seafood companies working together in a pre-competitive nature to create positive change within our industry. Groups like SeaPact and SFP's roundtable movement are already showing how working together brings value to the seafood sector

What changes and developments do you expect your business to undergo next year?

Albion recently merged with our sister meat company Intercity Packers to create a streamline center of the plate protein supplier for our customers. And while we are still in our infancy as Albion Farms and Fisheries we believe this will allow us to reduce our per lb distribution costs, provide more options to our existing customers and increase our seafood customer base in 2017.

We look forward to the opportunities this merger brings us in the next year.

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