French Seafood Trade Debates Yield and Waste Reduction

1 July 2014, at 1:00am

FRANCE - As seafood becomes an ever increasing valuable source of protein with rising demand, production yield is a topic of great importance at all levels of the supply chain: catch, processing, innovation, logistics and merchandising.

In order to highlight the subject, the French trade magazine Produits de la Mer organised roundtable talks with industry leaders from the different parts of the of the value chain, writes Finnian O’Luasa, Paris Office, Bord Bia – Irish Food Board.

Due to current high level of cod stocks from the Barents sea, processors of other species need to optimise profitability in order to counter the competitive advantage of cod due to scale economies which allow dedicated species process automation.

The utilisation of offcuts from lower yield machine processing, compounded by high demand for fixed weight SKUs, will lead to innovation opportunities through meat reconstitution technologies.

Shelf life also has a major influence on costs, as more perishable products generate lower volumes per delivery; “50 per cent of transport positions weigh less that 50kg” according to the logistics expert in the roundtable meeting.

Innovative trends in shelf life lengthening include super chill, where products are held between -2°C to -1°C, or thaw technologies combined with high quality freeze technology.

Any innovation in shelf life will demand high quality raw material with better care of catch and more efficient transport to markets.

Legislative and consumer barriers remain to be overcome, including the definition of fresh or frozen in the case of super chill and acceptance of thawed products.

In the context of growing challenges for food security and waste reduction, ideas generated from the meeting appear to be essential and will no doubt pave the way to future innovation and marketing, where clean labels, quality and consumer trust we be key.