Fewer, bigger, better

Posted by Mel Groundsell, Corporate Relations Director on 26 March 2015

This month marks an important staging post on the Seafish journey, with one Corporate Plan coming to an end and a new one set to start.  

Looking back over the last few years, it's easy to see how far Seafish has come and I think that even our detractors would be prepared to say that we are a very different beast to the one that faced the industry review of 2011.

Central to this evolution has been the establishment of the Seafish Sector Panels, which were set up by Seafish with the support of all the Fisheries Administrations with a view to increasing the representation of industry within the organisation.

The Panels cover all areas of our work from catch to plate, with members representing the industry in three broad groups: domestic and exporters; importers and processors; and consumers and supply chain. The Panels have the important task of prioritising work and resources and, as you can imagine, requirements can sometimes differ!

I had just started my role in Seafish when last year's Panel process kicked off the work of building the Corporate Plan for 2015 -2018 and I have to say, I was hugely impressed.  Impressed by the bold aspirations discussed, by the patience and commitment of Panel members, and more than anything, by the passion in the room; it was clear to me that this was a group of people who cared very deeply about their industry.

The needs of our three Panels can be very different and during the Panel process there were areas of real and genuine conflict, where compromise was demanded on all sides. It would have been easy to spread our assets too thinly in an attempt to please everyone, or worse, to conclude the process with a camel of a forward plan, designed by a warring committee.

So where have we ended up? …I'm delighted to say, those fears were unfounded and we have concluded the process with a new Corporate Plan that manages to both keep the focus tight with 'fewer, bigger, better' and deliver 'the greatest good to the greatest number'.

Our work is lined up under three High Level Objectives (HLOs) to: promote consumption; enhance reputation; and inform decisions. Under those HLOs sit some outcomes the whole industry can get behind: more people eating more fish more often; a trusted and resilient industry; and information and data readily available to inform decision-making.

We're looking forward to delivering on this promise, and will be working hard to share that work with our stakeholders - if we're going to have any real and lasting success, we're going to need to work hand in hand with our industry colleagues. If we can get that right, and work together to really deliver those strategic outcomes, we'll all be laughing.