Around 10 years ago, the salmon farming industry appeared to have finally tipped the scales in its favor regarding how it is perceived by consumers and NGOs. But the past few years have shown what is becoming perhaps an even larger problem: a lack of social license.
Dag Sletmo, a longtime executive with seafood lending giant DNB, said a focus on negative issues among the broader public has become yet another drag on growth -- particularly in Norway, the global production leader. That should top the list of concerns for the industry, he said.
"The instinct of the industry very often is to address the consumer," Sletmo told IntraFish. "We've seen that demand and price is resilient in the face of these issues. I think in this context, it's the Norwegian voter that's a lot more important. The voters elect the politicians, and the politicians make the laws and are the bosses of the regulators."
Despite public perception and economic headwinds -- Norway's new tax regime, tighter consumer spending, higher interest rates -- Sletmo is extremely bullish on the salmon farming sector in both the long and short term.
"I think the next 10 years the salmon price will be really strong, and the basis for that is simply that supply growth is very low in all major salmon farming regions," Sletmo said.
You can hear Sletmo's other predictions in the full interview on our podcast below.
Also -- IntraFish editors and reporters discuss the innovative new floating salmon processing concepts headed for Alaska. Will they make a difference?