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Organic Seafood Seeks Price Solutions

13 December 2010

FRANCE - The French organic market increased in value by 19 per cent in 2009 and was worth some €3 billion according to Finnian O’Luasa fromBord Bia Paris.

However, there is a French paradox concerning the French organic market as highlighted in a previous FoodAlert article which is predicted to continue growing but price is considered to be a barrier to consumption.

To combat a high price image and continue to raise market demand, French manufacturers and distributors are using a number of different strategies including the introduction of organic products in discount retailers; imports of lower cost organic species from third countries, vertical integration of production and distribution or the use of organic ingredients in more affordable processed seafood.

An example of vertical integration is the recent merger of OSO, the Madagascar organic shrimp producer and the French seafood wholesaler Atlantys. This results in an efficient farm to table supply chain of reasonably affordable tropical organic prawns.

However, the new group has also benefited from the merger to reposition itself a unique distributer of an organic and high quality labelled seafood range including Irish organic salmon, organic seabass and organic seabream.

Using organic ingredients is a strategy which has shown increased development over recent months. Examples are the Breton delicatessen processor Guyader who has launched an organic spreadable trout product “Rillettes” with 70 per cent fish and include cream to bring out a smoother taste. The French canner, Gonidec produces a canned “Sardines with organic virgin olive oil” thereby cleverly marrying an affordable blue fish species with high quality organic olive oil.

The rise in organic seafood will no doubt continue therefore thanks to the creativity of processors in overcoming consumer price barriers.

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