Is the fish industry facing a crisis after 25 years of exceptional growth? Is a recession imminent? We discussed the problems that have arisen in the industry and the innovations that are being introduced during October's 8th Fish Congress in Gdynia.
It is hard not to agree with the fact that the current macroeconomic environment is not conducive to development - the war in Ukraine and disrupted post-pandemic supply chains are quite a challenge for many sectors of the economy, including the fish sector.
According to research presented at the Congress, the operating profitability of fish companies has already deteriorated in 2021 and was lower than in the food industry as a whole (3.19% ver. 4.30%).
The fish sector is also concerned about the situation of small enterprises, where labour productivity per employee is more than double less than that of medium and large enterprises.
Moreover, ever-increasing inflation is taking its toll on purchases of fish and fish products. The high price is starting to be a barrier to purchase, and increases in production costs are preventing it from being reduced. Between January and April 2022, the average level of fish prices on world markets was 24.5% higher than a year ago, with white fish becoming more expensive by as much as 59% y-o-y.
As a result of these changes, in H1 2022 there was a decrease in production in large fish companies of nearly 6%, and exports of fish and fish products decreased by 12%. In addition, the CSO estimates a decline in household consumption of fish and fish products by as much as 16% (consumption last year reached a record high of 14.18 kg per capita).
In an era of rising prices and costs, speakers presented ways to manage resources efficiently, particularly water and electricity. There was also the topic of the environment, a reminder of the UN and EU goals aiming at sustainable production, including fisheries, while ensuring food security in the future. Consumer interest in eco-certified fish was raised and the Nutriscore system was discussed against the background of fish products.
PROMAR speakers also addressed the Congress. Dorota Krzemińska, Deputy General Sales Director, and Piotr Kulawik, PhD, Professor at the Agricultural University in Kraków, presented the results of over two years of research into the sterilisation of dried onions and garlic implemented by PROMAR.
We appreciate the opportunity to meet and exchange information, especially at such a difficult time for the industry. The congress reinforced our conviction that, despite the barriers, the development potential of the fish sector is still high.
Source: Fish Industry Magazine No. 5 (149) / 2022
Fot. Piotr Manasterski