Seafish Roundup - Marcus Coleman's March Blog

Posted on 20 March 2017

Corporate planning tends to be a dark art, something that happens amid hush and secrecy behind closed doors. At Seafish, we like to buck the trend, with a corporate planning process that takes decision-making out of the boardroom and into the heart of industry we serve.

For us, the work to shape our 2018-21 Corporate Plan began back in September last year, when we brought our three sector panels together in one room to 'brainstorm' our main focus points for the next period. That exercise helped us streamline our work into two key objectives: to secure supply and to grow demand; ultimately recognising that crucial end goal of getting more people eating more fish more often.

Following that all-Panel meeting, our boffins within Seafish Towers devised costed work proposals to help articulate what we needed to do to realise that bold ambition. The breadth of our Seafish work is impressive, and there's a lot to consider from responsible sourcing to regulation, via consumer insight and campaigns.

The latest step in the process has been our March round of meetings, which allowed our panel members to step back into their sectors and review our proposals from their own perspective. Our panels cover the value chain from sea to plate, with three groups working under the following categories: Domestic & Export, Importers & Processors, and Supply Chain and Consumer. As you can imagine, there is some disagreement as well as plenty of common ground. Panel chairs play a key role in establishing consensus across the three sector groups and ensure we don't spread ourselves too thinly, but narrow our focus and concentrate on those areas where we will deliver greatest benefit.

Our own Seafish teams will now take our industry feedback and use it to shape a final plan to take back to the panels in the summer, and then on to our Seafish Board and Government sponsors for approval before the end of the year.

It's a lengthy process, and it certainly isn't straightforward, but is it worth it? I really think so - it's one of the unique elements to Seafish life that make my job of CEO so rewarding.