IntraFish brought together a fantastic lineup of speakers for our Seafood Outlook 2021 event on Tuesday, March 23, brought to you by Alltech Coppens, Tropo Farms, Silverside and Nuseed's AquaTerra. You can read highlights below, and stay tuned for a video of the event.
Our next digital event is just around the corner -- don't miss our first-ever Aquaculture Innovation Summit on April 20-21, where we'll bring the leading innovators, investors and analysts together to give a peek at the technologies and ideas shaping the seafood industry.
Tuesday, March 23, 9:25 am
Agility is important
Thomas Bakke, managing director of seafood consultancy Seafood People, said in terms of agility, organizations need to manage the craft of innovating with exploiting and tweaking everything you have already.
“If you’re able to manage those things in the company, I think you have a bright future ahead,” he said.
Tuesday, March 23, 9:20 am
Feeding the world
Trying to excite consumers while feeding the world are the main challenges facing the seafood industry looking ahead, Sea Fish Industry Authority CEO Marcus Coleman said.
“Leadership is important.”
Tuesday, March 23, 9:18 am
‘We can’t send someone to training, we can’t give someone a book’
Hiring new employees for the seafood industry is not easy, according to Kim Gorton, president and CEO at Slade Gorton.
“We can’t send someone to training, we can’t give someone a book” to understand everything that goes into the seafood industry, she said.
“It’s incredibly difficult to find people that really have the type of knowledge you need,” she said.
While Gorton is seeing more young people entering the seafood industry, it remains challenging to transfer the necessary knowledge.
The industry needs to bring in people who understand logistics, technology and branding. “It’s far easier to find people that have those skills that can apply them to our industry.”
The industry should take people from other industries who have had success and have them apply those skills to seafood. But it will remain challenging to transfer longheld industry knowledge, she added.
Tuesday, March 23, 9:13 am
Understanding cultural shifts and hiring
After mitigating coronavirus, companies are most concerned with finding good staff, according to an IntraFish survey of the industry.
Thomas Bakke, managing director of seafood consultancy Seafood People, said the challenge seafood has as an industry is that it’s young and very traditional.
“We’re finding ourselves, at a crossroad,” he said. “There is a need for a lot of new competencies.”
There is competency needed for data, branding, technology.
“The people in the industry looking for those skills, they don’t necessarily possess them themselves.” The industry needs to acknowledge that.
“How do you create a home for the new competency?”
The industry is at a place where companies should use experts for a while to learn more about how to bring in new competencies, and do full-time hires.
Tuesday, March 23, 9:10 am
The niche of freshness
The seafood industry is primed to produce more seafood locally, especially as new technologies such as land-based farming gain traction, Skretting CEO Therese Log Bergjord said.
“Startups are looking at how to produce within cities to be relevant in the niche of freshness. It’s important for consumers in the light of the global tension on world trade,” Bergjord said.
Skretting's parent company, Nutreco, is actively looking to invest within the space of those new technologies.
Tuesday, March 23, 9:07 am
Retailers joining with fishing companies
It will be interesting to see if more retailers decide to integrate operations vertically as Morrisons did through its recent acquisition of Falfish, said Sea Fish Industry Authority CEO Marcus Coleman.
Tuesday, March 23, 9:05 am
New consumer retail habits likely to stick
Kim Gorton, president and CEO at Slade Gorton, noted that with all the new consumers that have come to seafood during the pandemic, companies need to continue to make products accessible, and also need to promote products.
“Consumers certainly bought fresh seafood, but they also started to pantry-load with frozen seafood,” she said of US shopper habits during the pandemic.
The “pantry-loading” habit is usually more common among US consumers with protein such as chicken.
“I don’t see that habit changing,” she said of what consumers might do in the future.
Tuesday, March 23, 8:59 am
If the equity market turns weaker, seafood companies could be forced into further consolidation, said Pareto Securities analyst Petter Dragesund.
Tuesday, March 23, 8:56 am
Connecting the dots
A major challenge for the seafood industry is digitizing the “complex, diverse and varied” supply chain, Therese Log Bergjord, Skretting CEO, said.
However, younger consumers want more information, challenging the industry to “tie it altogether and strengthen the efforts of the last year.”
Tuesday, March 23, 8:53 am
Investments in forecasting
“The investments we made were really focused on driving efficiency in the supply chain, which is enabled by technology,” said Kim Gorton, president and CEO at Slade Gorton
“We’re looking at different technologies to help us with forecasting, to share with our trading partners. So we can continue to take steps forward to what i call consensus forecasting.”
Tuesday, March 23, 8:48 am
Salmon will continue to sell well in US retail
Kim Gorton, president and CEO at Slade Gorton, said farmed salmon will “continue to do very well, even as foodservice opens back up in the US and pandemic conditions are mitigated.
“Farmed salmon, other than canned tuna--or salmon in general--seems to be the most ubiquitous seafood,” she said.
For the last decade, farmed and wild salmon has been marketing itself well both in retail and online. Consumers have become so familiar with it, so it will continue to be a major staple in consumer’s diet.
The industry has also done an excellent job, adding value. “The rest of the industry, we can continue to learn from that.”
For restaurants looking to cut costs, they will look to options such as salmon portions and fillets to provide affordable options to customers.
“It’s a great fish. One of my favorite,” she said.
Tuesday, March 23, 8:46 am
Europe has been strong
China and the US are going to lead the recovery, although Europe has been surprisingly strong, Pareto Securities analyst Petter Dragesund said.
“For European seafood producers Europe has been the savior.”
Tuesday, March 23, 8:41 am
Pressure on prices continues
Raw material prices remain volatile for the feed industry, however, aquaculture feed manufacturer Skretting is doing “the best it can” to dampen volatility for its customers, CEO Therese Log Bergjord said.
“We sit in between supply and demand for seafood,” Bergjord said. “We see our role to be good at substituting the main raw materials.”
Tuesday, March 23, 8:31 am
Frozen has its day
The frozen side has been spectacular in 2020, Sea Fish Industry Authority CEO Marcus Coleman said.
“The money in people’s pockets is going to be the big driver in 2021,” he said. “We are expecting a rough time as people with less money trade down.”
This could be where frozen has its day, he said.
Tuesday, March 23, 8:28 am
Learning to be agile
What does it take to pivot from foodservice to retail?
“I think it’s easier said than done,” Kim Gorton CEO of Slade Gorton, said. It also depends on where you are in the supply chain. If you’re a distributor or broker, it depends on your relationships. If you’re vertically integrated, it becomes a lot more challenging.
The pandemic has taught companies to be more nimble and agile.
You can’t swing the pendulum in a completely different direction. But there are changes being seen in packaging and with retailers loosening other constraints.
“Going forward, the hope is we hang to some of that as foodservice comes back.”
Tuesday, March 23, 8:22 am
Hot equity market
The equity market for the seafood sector has been “on fire” during the pandemic amid a rush for listings and equity raises, said Pareto Securities analyst Petter Dragesund.
“There has been a lot of new equity coming into play supporting the business,” he said.
Tuesday, March 23, 8:20 am
2019 was one of the best years for seafood, meaning that the coronavirus pandemic came as a hammer blow to the industry, said Sea Fish Industry Authority CEO Marcus Coleman.
“Things were really starting to move" he said.
Tuesday, March 23, 8:15 am
Kim Gorton, president and CEO at Slade Gorton, noted the challenges last year on the foodservice side left most restaurant operators in a difficult spot. Many of them were not able to participate in PPP funding that was available.
But in recent months, there has been a steady ramp up of foodservice business. “As the vaccine gets rolled out, we’re starting to see quite a surge in demand,” she said.
It remains to be seen whether that is to fill existing gaps in supply or not.
“Being mindful of supporting the foodservice industry as it opens back up again,” we’re in a much better place than we certainly were a year ago. It’s a “boomerang effect” right now, she said.
Tuesday, March 23, 8:10 am
Execs mostly bullish on 2021 business climate
The annual IntraFish Seafood Executive Outlook survey wasn’t very far out the door in January 2020 before COVID-19 took hold, completely re-calibrating the sentiment of executives from the world’s largest seafood companies.
To gauge where the industry stood at the height of the pandemic, the survey was put out in mid-April, and then once more in November to take stock of executive perspectives as a tumultuous 2020 ended.
While most had a bleak outlook at the peak of the pandemic when surveyed in spring, by the close of the year many revised their predictions back to pre-COVID outlooks, and in some cases, had a more optimistic perspective of the future.
Tuesday, March 23, 8:00 am
Seafood outlook 2021
Top seafood suppliers, buyers and analysts from around the world will come together today to offer their take on seafood in the new realities of COVID, Brexit, climate change and more in IntraFish's latest digital event: Seafood Outlook Forum 2021.
- Kim Gorton, president and CEO at Slade Gorton
- Therese Log Bergjord, CEO at Skretting
- Marcus Coleman, CEO of the UK's Seafish Industry Authority
- Petter Dragesund, senior partner at Pareto Securties
- Thomas Bakke, managing director of seafood consultancy Seafood People
This diverse set of speakers will bring valuable insights to help the sector navigate new challenges and seize new opportunities as they forecast where the industry is headed in the year ahead, from retail and foodservice trends to supply forecasts. Includes presentation of key findings from our exclusive Seafood Executive Outlook.