Feb 11, 2020

“Change can only happen together"

Veramaris hosts energetic panel discussion with value chain partners at Fish International in Bremen, Germany

Mark Heuer (WWF), Jørgen Skeide (Lerøy Seafood), Robert Pudelko (Kaufland), Gaelle Husser (Veramaris), Thomas Grüter (Deutsche See), Dirk Lenders (Lebensmittelzeitung) (left to right)
In store on 27 February: Kaufland to launch Veramaris-fed salmon from Norway.
Committed to sustainability: CSR Manager Robert Pudelko of Kaufland.
Deliciously nutritious: Norwegian salmon producer Lerøy provided fish for the event.
„Change can only happen together”, says Gaelle Husser, Business Development Director at Veramaris.
First public appearance: partners along the whole value chain in Germany.

Veramaris’ presence at Fish International was a considerable success thanks to the support of its partners along the value chain. The joint panel discussion left the expert audience at Fish International with an idea on what’s important for seafood consumers in Germany, how the future of sustainable seafood production may look like, and how innovative companies can grow profitably along these trends.

The vivid discussion anchored by food journalist Dirk Lenders (Lebensmittelzeitung) with distinct industry representatives from the entire salmon value chain offered many takeaways. Under the headline “Living healthily, enjoying sustainably and growing profitably – salmon has it all” the value chain partners Robert Pudelko (Corporate Social Responsibility, Kaufland), Thomas Grüter (Key Account Manager Retail, Deutsche See), Mark Heuer (Project Manager Sustainable Seafood, WWF), Jørgen Skeide (Feed Specialist, Lerøy), and Veramaris’ own Gaëlle Husser discussed new marketing strategies for healthy and sustainable salmon in Germany in the SCOPE Lounge of Fish International in Bremen.

Living healthily, enjoying sustainably and growing profitably

Journalist Dirk Lenders weighs in on the outcome of the discussion: “I think a roundtable with key players from across the seafood industry and beyond is exceptionally helpful for mutual understanding and consequently for taking better action together.” The Fish International trade show in Bremen, Germany, provided the perfect place for such an exchange. With more than 12.000 visitors and 300 exhibitors from 30 different countries, Fish International is Germany’s only trade show for fish and seafood, retail and food service.

Growing health awareness as well as salmon being easy and fast to prepare make it so popular among consumers. “Salmon is the undisputed number #1 fish. It is already a good and sustainable product. At the same time, we can still do a lot better and improve,” argues Thomas Grüter, Key Account Manager Retail at Deutsche See.

Kaufland to launch new salmon product

Kaufland is among the retail pioneers in Germany taking the salmon category to the next level. Last year, the German retailer started to incorporate fresh salmon fed on Veramaris’ natural marine algal oil in its portfolio. Kaufland is launching its new salmon product on February 27, making healthy and sustainable salmon from Norway accessible for consumers across its stores in Germany. “Neither profitability, nor health, nor sustainability alone are determining factors for future success,” says Robert Pudelko, Corporate Social Responsibility at Kaufland. “Only if we all come together, we may shape a sustainable future for seafood,” he continues.

With the aim to shift the salmon portfolio towards enhanced sustainability and health, Kaufland has been collaborating with Veramaris for more than two years now. Veramaris Business Development Director Gaëlle Husser: “Change only works together. Health, sustainability, and profitability have to be considered as equally important for both retailers and farmers. Salmon and fatty fish in general, are an essential source of omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. These make fatty fish an irreplaceable component in our diet. There is no other food that is as rich in EPA and DHA as fish – that’s good for heart, brain and eye health.”

Kaufland’s pioneering move in Germany has been followed closely by non-governmental organizations in the environment field such as WWF. “Does it make sense to catch fish to feed fish,” asks Mark Heuer, a project manager for sustainable seafood products at WWF, showing appreciation for the increasing interest in sustainable innovations, especially in the food sector.

"It's a long-term strategy"

Thanks to a growing consensus among industry leaders and higher expectations by consumers, sustainability is no longer a niche market, but it is much more a formula for success. Retail companies as well as farming companies are continuously implementing new sustainability measures.

Jørgen Skeide of Lerøy, the world’s second largest salmon farming company, is confident in their decision for the future: “Lerøy Seafood has chosen to be a first mover on algae ingredients to make aquaculture more sustainable. It's a long-term strategy.” Lerøy has already implemented natural marine algae for salmon nutrition and is satisfied with the results.

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