Ivan Jaines-White, commercial director of Simpson Seafish, says Brazil’s shrimp producers are failing to add valueLike many seafood suppliers, Simpson Seafish has realised the importance of adding value. This policy has resulted in a number of new products being added to our portfolio, including ready meals.
I have just returned from Brazil, where I attended an aquaculture and shrimp farming conference. I had been invited to comment on establishing advantageous points of difference.
In 1998, Brazilian shrimp exports stood at $2m; now they are worth $200m. Production there is limited only by the hectares devoted to aquaculture. And this number continues to rise, aided by financial incentives from the banking sector.
The net result is that shrimps from Brazil have become a commodity. In the absence of added value, or points of difference, prices get caught in a downward spiral.
Production facilities in Brazil are good. But too few companies there are willing to take the plunge and invest.
Development of added-value seafood products in Asia is advanced, and companies deliver a range of coated and combination products.
The concept of adding value is not limited to ingredients. I encountered a wonderful example in packaging while on the flight to Brazil.
The vodka we were offered was delivered in a foil sachet. Imagine the account manager presenting it to the airline: “It’s lightweight, offers no glass hazard, is compact, and produces little waste.”
I used this example to highlight a simple point of difference for the Brazilian exporters, who pack shrimp into a solid block. This is acceptable for further processing or high volume restaurants in Brazil and the United States. But the EU market, where shrimp is not the dominant menu item, requires a block that can be partially stripped for defrosting and minimal waste. In the absence of Individual Quick Freezing facilities, this adds value to the potential purchaser.
The message is clear: small points of difference make a big difference; a trick Brazil’s shrimp producers are missing.
Would you like to write a Talking Point? We’re looking for contributions covering hot topics in the meat, fish and fresh produce supply chains
Email richard.clarke@william-reed.co.uk or call him on 01293 610404