Organic trout farming leads to significant price premiums and extra margins.

Norway seeks global niche for 'fjord trout'

Norway's Seafood Council says the industry and council has completed work on a new strategy to build up the position of trout.

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Bjørn-Erik Stabell, the NSC's global marketing manager, said there was significant potential to export more trout to many markets.

The greatest export of trout as of today is to Belarus, Japan and the United States,” said Stabell. “In Belarus most is for processing and re-export.

Last year trout had significant growth of South East Asia (Thailand and Malaysia). We believe that a significant portion of this volume was instead of salmon. However, there is a potential to create a clearer identity for trout in these markets.”

He also sees considerable growth potential France, Spain, Germany, UK and Sweden.

There is excellent feedback from HoReCa and consumers on the product. There are also segments in these countries that are willing to pay extra for a 'niche product', which fjord trout will be in the salmon category.”

He points out that the industry just completed work on a new strategy for trout.

The aim is to build the position of trout in the best-paying segments in both the grocery and catering sectors. This will happen under the name Fjord Trout.”

Demand has lately been rising and has almost kept pace with salmon, says Stabell.

It has taken some time to build new markets after the demise of Russia, but it now seems to have loosened a bit. In the latter part of last year the price of trout passed salmon prices, and we believe that this position will remain in the market going forward.

The Seafood Council believes that Fjord Trout has considerable potential. Primarily this is because consumers like trout. They like the taste and they like the texture of the fish. In addition, this is a fish that will be able to take an attractive niche market position, which always has the potential to achieve good prices.”

Stabell believes the NSC should certainly be given more to market Norwegian trout.

The Seafood Council has only means to promote trout in 2-3 markets in 2017. There are many more markets that have significant potential for Fjord Trout.”

According to Norwegian statistics the standing biomass of trout had a decline of 28% in February compared with the same month last year. The statistics also show that the exported quantity of trout fell by 60% percent, compared with 2016.

Analyst Paul T Aandahl of the Norwegian Seafood Council explains that the expectation for production this year is down about 30% compared with 2016.

Last year we also had a freezing plant, which was sold during the first four months. This allows the relative decline will be somewhat larger than 30 percent, especially in the first four months,” he comments.