A welcome boost for our seafood industry
Today is a red-letter day for the Australian seafood industry, following an announcement of $4 million in federal funding for use towards a national campaign to promote Australian seafood and support the industry’s recovery post COVID-19.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, Agriculture Minister David Littleproud and Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Jonno Duniam announced the funding, which couldn’t come at a better time – the Australian seafood sector has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, as more than half its total value traditionally flows from exports.
Minister Littleproud says the campaign will support both our seafood industry and our regional communities’ recovery from the devastating impacts of COVID-19.
“Combined with the closure of the foodservice industry at home, total demand for our seafood has dropped by up to 80 percent for some species, with prices falling by up to two thirds impacting on the profitability of our fishers,” he says.
The campaign will support all sectors in the seafood industry, from fishers and processors through to those in foodservice. The dramatic drop in international exports coupled with hospitality closures at home has caused a huge drop in demand, forced fishing crews off water and major disruptions to supply chains – particularly in regional Australia. This campaign aims to turn that around, and urge Australians to eat healthy, sustainable seafood.
The national movement will be led by the sector’s peak representative group, Seafood Industry Australia. Seafood Industry Australia Interim CEO Veronica Papacosta says the campaign will provide a much-needed boost to the industry as well as the supply chain that supports it, including retailers and those who dish up our delicious seafood every day.
“Australian seafood is iconic, but it is not yet a brand,” she says. “This campaign represents the industry’s move to establish Australian seafood as a brand in its own right.
“Australian seafood is the best in the world, and our commercial fisheries are global leaders in sustainability. It’s time we celebrated an undisputed national icon.
“This campaign will be designed with one clear, simple message: to eat Australian seafood.”
So, let’s get behind our seafood industry, throw another prawn – not shrimp! – on the barbie, and enjoy the best that Australian seafood has to offer.