A group of Seychelles’ fish processors and exporters are seeking to eliminate middlemen and trade directly with buyers and importers by attending the Seafood Expo Global 2023 in Barcelona, Spain, from April 25-27.
The Association of Fish Processors and Exporters Seychelles’ (AFPES) presence at the expo is being done through the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA). The agreement was signed by SFA’s interim chief executive, Philippe Michaud, and chairman of AFPES, Louis Bossy.
Under the MoU, both parties agree to co-participate in the Seafood Expo Global where the SFA has allocated a budget of €33,000 directly towards Seychelles and AFPES exhibiting at this event. The contribution comes from the EU Sectoral Support Fund, which is devoted to the development of the Seychelles fishing industry.
With the total budget needed to book the stall at the exposition standing at €53,624 euros, the association is also committed under the agreement to find or fund the remainder of the required budget.
After the signing ceremony, Michaud outlined that SFA hopes that the association “will make the best use of these funds and that there will be real tangible benefits for Seychelles, the fishermen, and the industry.”
The agreement was signed by Michaud (right) and the chairman of AFPES. (Seychelles Nation) Photo License: CC-BY
Bossy shared that the association’s presence at the exposition will help put Seychelles on a new level in regard to the export and processing of fish.
Seychelles participated once previously at the Seafood Expo Global in May 2016 in Brussels, Belgium.
“We are confident that our local sector, mostly comprising our semi-industrial and artisanal fisheries sectors, is the most sustainable that there can ever be. We are proud of this, but at the same time being sustainable can also be unsustainable economically because of the volume that we catch. It is high time that we, as the local processors, make the most out of the small volume that we have,” said Bossy.
He explained that “being directly exposed to the clients will provide us with the chance to expose our products and their value because going through a middleman does not give value to the origin of the product.”
The Seafood Expo Global is seen as the world’s leading and largest seafood trade event and it brings together buyers, suppliers, and other players in the seafood industry from more than 160 countries. It is an opportunity for those attending to meet with existing suppliers, source new products, and network with other industry professionals.
Founded in 2017, AFPES brings together leading fish processors and exporters of the island nation, which together aim at reinforcing the second pillar of Seychelles’ economy – fisheries.
AFPES members export fresh and frozen seafood to various regions such as the USA, EU, Middle East, Asia, and Africa. Their product offerings include frozen by-catch caught by industrial tuna vessels, fresh fish caught by semi-industrial long-liner vessels, fresh crabs, and dried sea cucumbers mainly for export to Asia.
Source: Seychelles News Agency