Seafish priorities in the midst of coronavirus
There’s absolutely no doubt that COVID-19 is having a huge impact across the world. Our role is always to give the UK seafood industry the support it needs to thrive so, against this new challenge, we’re working hard to support businesses across the seafood sector. Here’s an overview of our key areas of focus at in this time of adversity.
Understanding the full impact on the UK seafood sector
We’re asking businesses throughout the seafood supply chain to let us know how they’re being affected and how they’re responding. We’re logging and reviewing information as quickly as we can and regularly updating the UK, Scottish and Welsh Governments and the Northern Ireland Executive. The more information we receive the better informed they will be, so I’d encourage you to share information with us if you can.
You can get in touch with anybody at Seafish or email firstname.lastname@example.org. All information provided will be treated confidentially.
Maintaining seafood supply
Seafood, in common with the entire food industry, is facing twin challenges of high consumer demand in the UK and disrupted supply chains. Most food service operations have closed and many export markets are not currently accessible, so we are working with businesses across the supply chain to find other markets for seafood landed into the UK.
We’re currently developing guidance to help fishermen and fish merchants to use quayside sales, fish boxes and fish vans to sell their product locally, and possibly even nationally. We are also making promotional material available to support this.
We are working with government and processors to encourage large retailers to use more fresh fish in retail supply chains. Processors face unprecedented demand for product. They need to be able to be flexible, for example, quickly altering supply lines to process available species to ensure business continuity.
Promoting seafood to the consumer
We’re currently supporting #SeaForYourself - a new marketing campaign which aims to get more UK consumers to eat more seafood caught in UK waters. Seafood businesses can download campaign resources and images from the Seafish Asset Bank to support their own marketing. Find out more about #SeaForYourself.
Alongside this we will also highlight to consumers how they can buy fish, such as from fish vans, fishmongers, quayside sales, fish boxes and fish and chip shops. We’ll also offer guidance and support on buying, cooking and eating species that consumers might not be as familiar or confident with.
Assessing the longer term impacts
Our fundamental objective is to ensure that the fabric of the UK seafood industry remains intact, so that when the emergency situation passes the sector can recover. As the picture becomes clearer we will assess the impact on the UK catching and processing sectors so we can report on the level of disruption caused, using case studies to show exactly what is happening to businesses and the people working in these sectors.
Support and advice for seafood businesses
A range of unprecedented measures have been announced by the government, but with new announcements almost daily it’s difficult for businesses and individuals to know exactly what help they are eligible for.
It’s essential that the entire seafood supply chain knows what support is on offer and how to access it, so we’re providing information about available financial support and other forms of help and advice.
Keeping you updated
Finally, we want to keep you up to date. Keep checking our webpages, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn and make sure you sign up to receive our email alerts.