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Cultural understanding increases seafood exports

by the Fish Site Editor
05 June 2007, at 1:00am

NORWAY - Norwegian seafood exporters are too laid back about their products in demanding export markets. Cultural sensitivity is the key to better results, says researcher Gro Alteren in her doctoral thesis at the BI Norwegian School of Management.

Norway exports seafood to around 155 different countries throughout the world, and the industry is one of its most important export trades.

Norwegian seafood exports have had an almost universal presence in certain markets. However, its position has certainly led to us developing a rather too 'laissez-faire' attitude when it comes to fish. And the competition is increasing.

Choosing Denmark over Russia

“We sell too much of our seafood to the fish processing industry in Denmark, who are not so different from us. Nordic businesses are not so good at establishing long-term relations in countries that are culturally different from us, for example Russia, France, Italy and Japan,” claims Gro Alteren.

As an example, she points to seafood exporters in Troms and Finnmark, who sell as much as a quarter of their seafood exports to Denmark.

“I think this is too easy and defensive,” says Alteren. “By going for demanding markets such as Russia, the industry obtains the opportunity to become more professional within export markets.”

For her doctoral thesis at the BI Norwegian School of Management, Gro Alteren performed a study within the Norwegian seafood industry to discover whether cultural sensitivity can aid in developing lasting and strategically important trade relations within export markets. She conducted a survey to which 111 people who are responsible for serving customers in export markets responded.

Source: Innovations Report

the Fish Site Editor