Russian fishermen and retailers urged to make long-term partnerships
In order to safeguard the domestic market’s fish supply it would be best for the retail chains and the fishermen to make long term contracts to be fulfilled irrespective of the global market situation, said deputy head of Russia’s Federal Agency for Fisheries (FAF) Pyotr Savchuk in an interview with Primamedia.
According to Savchuk, FAF has proposed that the retails chains should work out exact specifications as to the product volumes and frequency of supplies. Such specifications would be passed over to the fishermen so that they could comply with them before entering into agreements with the chains.
The retail chains would obviously ask the fishermen for a wider range of products in consumer-friendly packaging. Diversification of the fishing companies into new products and new packaging (inc. development of new standards) would inevitably turn them into more vertically integrated entities.
This year’s record high salmon harvest of 670,000 metric tons caused big problems for the fishermen to find buyers. In their strive to sell salmon they approached the retail chains, which rejected blockfrozen salmon and said they would rather take salmon portions, fillets and steaks featuring ready-for-sale condition.
Actually all the chains dictate similar terms now and the fishermen have no other choice but change accordingly. Processors will also have to adjust themselves to stronger demand for products with added value. In particular, following the example of German factories they should also enrich their product range with ready-to-eat items along with conventional production of block frozen fillets.
Top managers of Moscow’s catering and hotel sector recently met with the Russian fishermen who brought a lot of seafood from the nation’s South, North, Siberia and Far East regions for display at the presentation. At the meeting, the restaurateurs highlighted problems with Alaska pollock preparation on the kitchen and said they could not see the ways of serving and selling it at restaurants.
Products have to be convenient for this or that distribution channel. Some 30 years ago surimi mince and APO fillets were launched, now the time has come for more up-to-date fish products which are highly healthy for humans. Besides, there is a need in promotion activities, APO image making and cultivation of taste preferences.