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Seafood Gains Importance As Protein Source

IRELAND - At a recent Packforum conference held by Sealed Air in Paris, a presentation by Rabobank outlined the growing importance of seafood as a protein source and how it differentiates from other protein.

The five year average price for a number of seafood species such as salmon, shrimp and tuna have increased by 26 per cent, 24 per cent and 78 per cent respectively, whereas the price change for poultry, pork and beef is plus 10 per cent, minus one per cent and plus seven per cent respectively.

Reasons for this are to do with supply availability as mentioned is previous FoodAlert articles combined with the increasing demand for seafood.

As Rabobank points out this may, depending on the species, lead to a situation where primary producers are the most profitable part of the value chain for seafood compared to other animal proteins. However, seafood processers may in turn find themselves squeezed between high raw material prices and low selling prices.

The strategic consequences of this scenario may be vertical integration to control raw material supplies as well as geographical integration to diversify species and dilute volatility.

Rabobank therefore foresees greater vertical and geographical consolidation of seafood companies.

As mentioned in an earlier FoodAlert, an example of this is the OSO Atlantys merger in France which resulted in the alliance of a key French wholesaler with a prawn producer from Madagascar thereby integrating both vertically and geographically. Another recent example is the current takeover of Icelandic Gelmer by Pacific Andes demonstrating again vertical and geographic integration.

the Fish Site Editor

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