Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Brussels Show Brings Buyers for Alaska Seafood

Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute officials say a major seafood trade show in Brussels in mid-April brought in high sales in the nick of time, on the eve of what are projected to be some of the largest salmon runs in recorded history.

On site sales were reported to be more than $44 million, according to the ASMI, which promotes the sale of Alaska’s wild seafood on a global scale.

The nearly two-dozen producers of Alaska seafood attending the show from April 21 to April 23 also projected sales over the next 12 months to be more than $650 million as a result of their presence there.

Challenges facing Alaska seafood sales this year include the strong value of the dollar over the yen and euro, plus Russia’s ban on the purchase of seafood from the US and Norway, which put product from both nations in greater competition in seafood markets elsewhere.

The Seafood Expo Global/Seafood Processing Global is the world’s largest seafood trade event, attracting buyers, suppliers, media and other seafood professionals from 150 countries.

The show itself is mostly about planning, meeting people, and finding out what people want, said Tom Sunderland, vice president of marketing and communications for Ocean Beauty Seafoods, who noted that interest is strong for wild Alaska seafood. “If you find an intense interest in one particular product form, you can still possibly change production to meet that demand,” he said. Cassandra Squibb, chief marketing officer for Copper River Seafoods, also spoke of the value of the show to Alaska’s seafood producers.

“Not only do we make critical sales there, but we are there to represent the always-popular Alaska brand,” Squibb said.

“The international markets have an ever-growing demand for Alaska’s wild sustainable seafood,” said Michael Cerne, executive director of ASMI. “It’s important that we represent Alaska at these trade shows both to develop the sales that keep the industry in business and to maintain our leadership seat at the table in the bigger picture of the world’s sustainable fisheries.”

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