Mowi, the world’s largest salmon farmer, has pulled out of the Seafood Expo North America (SENA) trade show in Boston set for March, the company confirmed to IntraFish.
It follows news earlier on Thursday that Mitsubishi-owned salmon farming giant Cermaq Group will also not be attending.
“The reasons are twofold,” Ola Helge Hjetland, group communications director at Mowi, told IntraFish.
He said the company is primarily concerned about the rising spread of COVID-19 fueled by the omicron variant. In addition, it has received feedback from some of its customers that they will not be attending the show.
“We obviously want to minimize the risk for our own staff to be infected with COVID-19 following the latest surge in cases in both the US and Europe,” said Hjetland.
He added that Mowi “always had a backup plan” for this happening.
“Obviously the chances of this happening were always fairly large, so this is not that unexpected and doesn't present any major issues for us,” said Hjetland.
Earlier on Thursday, Cermaq Group said it would not be attending the Boston show, citing the ongoing COVID-19 situation.
“In the current situation we cannot risk that participation in Boston may have negative impact on our contingency and availability to supply our customers. The health of people always comes first," the company said.
It followed the news earlier this week that Alaska seafood processor Peter Pan Seafood pulled out of the trade show, also citing the rising number of COVID-19 cases across the nation.
Despite the recent omicron-related cancellations, on Wednesday, show organizer Diversified Communications said the event will take place as planned on March 13-15 at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC).