Seafood 2040 - History and Purpose

History and purpose of Seafood 2040.

In October 2015, a Task Force representing all sectors of the seafood industry in England was established at the request of George Eustice MP, Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. The Task Force was asked to explore the challenges and opportunities facing the English industry and to shape a long-term ambition that could realise the full potential of the industry by 2040. A vision was established for the seafood value chain by 2040.

"Our ambition is to see a seafood industry that is sustainable and truly thriving, in every sense of the word. Where a whole supply chain approach has fostered collaborative working practices, yet allowed the space to fully celebrate the diversity of our different sectors and regions; where seafood is highly valued, driving consumption figures at home and abroad; and where science and a supportive regulatory framework drive innovation and foster best practice from catch and farm to plate."

  • Seafood consumption will have doubled to reach recommended levels of at least two portions per person per week, fuelling economic growth in the sector and returning substantial health gains and associated cost savings
  • Wild catch fisheries will be verifiably sustainable and flourishing – we will have a new data framework ensuring all stocks are well managed, fuelling an increase in demand for a wide range of species which is fully exploited by the enhanced role of Producer Organisations
  • Significant growth in the aquaculture sector will occur as a result of establishing an Aquaculture Leadership Group which will provide guidance and support to allow the sector to thrive within a safe regulatory framework
  • Business growth will be enabled by infrastructure improvements, ensuring potential is maximised right across the value chain from ports, transport and logistics, to skills and recruitment, innovation, production efficiency and waste reduction
  • There will be increased opportunities for exports meaning that sustainable seafood is firmly positioned at the heart of the 2020 Export Drive, growing the volume and value of sales as well as extending market reach
  • Access to international markets for responsibly sourced raw seafood materials will be assured, with favourable trade and tariff agreements in place with all seafood producing nations.

Following on from the collective ambition and vision, the Minister then appointed the Seafood Industry Expert Working Group – stakeholders from across the seafood supply chain – to develop an action plan to help realise the ambition and vision in May 2016. Over the course of 15 months, the Group came together regularly, evolving their initial overview into a fully-formed strategic framework, Seafood 2040. This all-sector framework is the first time stakeholders from sea to plate have come together as one voice at a table shared with Government. All the unique sector perspectives can be found throughout the document.

SF2040 contains 25 recommendations that when implemented, can lead to a truly thriving and sustainable English seafood industry across the value chain. Whilst this plan is focussed solely on the industry in England, it is acknowledged that implementation of the recommendations will have a positive impact on the whole of the UK seafood industry. Every effort has been made to ensure the Working Group was well acquainted with the excellent work occurring throughout the Devolved Nations and the SF2040 recommendations are aligned to their approaches.

SF2040 was delivered to the Minister in November 2017 who gave his support.

Funding from the European Maritime & Fisheries Fund (EMFF) was successfully granted for 2 years. The project will run from September 2018 – 2020.

In summer 2018, the advertisement for the Chair of the Seafood Industry Leadership Group, SILG, went out to major newspaper job sites. After an application and interview process, Alison Austin was selected as Chair. Finally, Kimberly Cullen was hired for 2 years to manage the project. In January 2020 Mrs. Austin resigned and in May 2020, Neil Auchterlonie, began his new role as Chair of SILG and the SF2040 programme.

Task Force

  • Chair - Alison Austin, Independent Member, Seafish Board
  • Martin Boyers, British Ports Association
  • Barrie Deas, NFFO
  • David Jarrad, SAGB
  • Mike Mitchell, Fair Seas Ltd
  • Richard Slaski, SARF/FIS
  • Dr. Jonathan Shepherd, Seafish Board
  • Laky Zervudachi, Direct Seafoods
  • Peter Andrews, British Retail Consortium
  • Dr. Tom Pickerell, Seafish Director

Government appointed Industry Expert Working Group Member

  • Chair - Alison Austin, Independent Member, Seafish Board
  • Ports & Auctions - Martin Boyers, British Ports Association
  • Producer Organisations - Andrew Pillar, Interfish
  • Wild catch - Matthew Cox, NFFO
  • Wild catch under 10M - Dave Cuthbert, NUTFA
  • Shellfish production - David Jarrad, SAGB
  • Processing - Mike Mitchell, Fair Seas Ltd
  • Science - Dr Neil Auchterlonie, IFFO
  • Land based Aquaculture - Oliver Robinson, British Trout Association
  • Aquaculture - Richard Slaski, SARF/FIS
  • Retail - Jeremy Ryland-Langley, Waitrose
  • Foodservice - Laky Zervudachi, Direct Seafoods
  • Defra Lead: Georgina Karlsson, Secretariat
  • Seafish Lead: Mel Groundsell, former Corporate Relations Director / Aoife Martin, Operations Director