Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the Seafood Development Agency, recently hosted an industry forum in the Maldron Hotel, Portlaoise for 12 Irish Seafood processors affected by recent high price increases which has led to volatility and difficult trading conditions on the salmon market.
The average fresh import price of salmon increased by 23% from 2015-2016 with the average retail price increasing by 3% over the same period.
BIM’s Director of Business Development & Innovation Donal Buckley outlined the agency’s plans to assist the industry; ‘This is the most sustained price increase our processing sector has faced to date. As demand for salmon continues to grow but global production reaches saturation, our processors are losing margin on what is our most popular and valuable product worth €92 million in domestic sales alone. As a result of discussions at this forum, we will establish a Domestic Seafood Council with seafood processors in order to find solutions and pool resources to mitigate the risk of trading in this sector. BIM will provide funding and supports to the Council in the areas of common research and business development.’
Attendees heard expert insights from Richard Donnelly, BIM who outlined trends in Irish salmon production and the outlook for future salmon supply. Cora Campbell from Irish research agency Kantar World Panel detailed the growing demand and consumer desire for salmon in the Irish retail market and the potential to grow this market further. Jan Erik Øksenvåg from International research agency Kontali gave a detailed insight into global salmon production trends, with forecasts for short and longer term supply and the effects this may have for the Irish Seafood Sector. Finally, Brendan O’Donovan from AIB explained how seafood companies can look at currency hedging as an ‘insurance’ policy to minimise risk.
A number of high level discussions followed on the key areas and possible solutions relevant to the current market including: options to increase raw material supply from Ireland; developing more efficient costing models for processing and sales of salmon and the potential for group purchasing logistics to drive efficiencies.
BIM will work closely with the processing sector in the weeks ahead to establish and drive the Domestic Seafood Council and provide financial and advisory supports.