Fish farmers bid to lift an old shadow from aquaculture
Scottish salmon farmers and UK trout growers have joined an international taskforce to promote a more positive message about fish farming.
Representatives from the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation (SSPO) and the British Trout Association (BTA) will take part in the “Sustainable Nutrition” initiative led by fish feed manufacturer BioMar.
The Global Salmon Initiative, Chilean Salmon Marketing Council and Norwegian Seafood Federation have also signed up, and other bodies are being invited to take part.
They will combine their expertise and resources to design a marketing and media strategy, with the intention of launching the campaign to consumers in key markets in the second quarter of next year.
BioMar said in a press release that although the seafood industry delivers a high protein food with one of the lowest environmental footprints, it is still overshadowed by a history of unsustainable practices.
“The industry has come a long way over the last two decades by adopting responsible farming practices, to creating sustainable feeds,” said BioMar.
“It has a positive environmental story, and the time might just be right to launch a good news story that is simple and allows easy engagement by consumers.
“There is a shift in the market towards more positive messaging around seafood from key NGOs, partly led by a holistic view of the global food system. Last month WWF launched their Planet Diet complete with menu planner where seafood features more prominently than other high protein foods. They encourage consumers to purchase certified seafood, and it’s clear they see it as part of the solution in a planet-friendly diet.
“This is not surprising given that fish has a smaller environmental impact compared to other high protein food choices, as shown in the Protein Scorecard by the World Resources Institute. An image repositioning strategy is required to change the existing consumer mindset, however we the industry can perpetuate a myth by simply defending ourselves all the time. That is why BioMar has created the Sustainable Nutrition campaign; https://www.supportyourplanet.com/ to help inspire a new, simple message that we can all adopt.”
“Fish have a great sustainable protein story, one that will inspire people to eat more seafood not only for their own health but for the health of our planet. Everyone operating in the seafood industry can relate to this campaign,” said BioMar’s global head of marketing and branding, Katherine Bryar.
For most people, helping to solve climate change seems too large and complicated of a problem. This campaign was designed to show people that with a simple food choice they can make a difference, one bite at a time.
“With this type of behavioural-change marketing, it is important to maintain positive messaging when telling your story and avoid demonising others,” said Bryar.
“For BioMar it is important that we support our customers and if this helps create a positive environmental image around seafood and increases consumption than it’s a win-win scenario for us as we are solely dedicated to the sustainable future of the aquaculture industry,” said BioMar chief executive Carlos Diaz.