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Outlook 2018: Clearwater Seafoods CEO Ian Smith

Top exec looks ahead at some positive factors that may lift the company's fortunes next year.

IntraFish kicks off its annual Outlook series with thoughts from Clearwater Seafoods CEO Ian Smith.

It's been an eventful year for Canadian harvesting and processing giant Clearwater, with high-profile partnerships, new vessels, acquisitions, staff restructuring to recent news that its Banquereau and Grand Banks Arctic surf clam fishery was clear for Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification.

The company continued to turn in solid earnings throughout the year, but investors were mixed on the overall performance, and shares are down year to date by over 27 percent, though last month saw a mini-rally. Still, the company continues to invest and the overall trends are in its favor.

Smith took a look back at the top factors that impacted his business this year, and what we can expect.

What were the three most significant developments for your business in the seafood industry in 2017?

  • Strengthening of the global economy
  • Ratification of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)
  • China trade and ecommerce expansion

Looking ahead, what will be the three most important developments in the seafood industry in 2018?

  • Continued improvement in the global economy
  • Continued China trade and ecommerce expansion
  • Understanding Brexit impact -- positive and negatives

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

  • Increasing global demand for wild caught, sustainably harvested and fully traceable seafood
  • Sales distribution expansion in Europe linked to CETA
  • Continued sales expansion in Asia, led by China

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Stay tuned for our next Outlooks -- they'll be running throughout the remainder of 2017 and early 2018.