Seafood village project delivers powerful message- FMA chief –

Seafood village project delivers powerful message- FMA chief Published:  05 January, 2011

The head of the Grimsby Fish Merchants Association has said the port’s new seafood village, now taking shape, will deliver a powerful business case to the rest of the country.

In a New Year message, chief executive Steve Norton told his members that the new premises will increase the competitiveness of businesses in Grimsby by delivering improvements, simplifications, efficiency and guaranteeing supply chain integrity.

He said: “The development will provide a powerful marketing platform, which companies will be able to use to their advantage to win new contracts and maintain existing business. The Seafood Village, (which is expected to open for business later this year), would deliver a clear, powerful business case to suppliers and customers alike that Grimsby is at the centre of seafood processing; is competitive and can offer outstanding service and diversity.”

Steve said the project would  lead to a tangible improvement in the perception of the seafood industry both locally and nationally. This will enable the FMA to promote and market the reputation of seafood processing in Grimsby professionally.

“It is our view  that the seafood industry needs to attract new young people to develop careers in the industry as there are skills shortages and an ageing workforce. In order to attract new young people to the sector, it is recognised that GFMA and partners need to challenge the perception locally that the Fish Docks is in decline and promote the activity that is happening”

He said a recent survey revealed that over a quarter (26 per cent) of the workforce was now aged over 50, and around half the entire workforce would reach retirement age within 20 years. “There is a dearth of young people wishing to come into the industry,” he warned.

“New processing units will provide an improved working environment that will attract younger people into the industry. Without more entrants to the sector the industry faces an uncertain future.”

Laying out the FMA strategy for the future, he said the seafood village invesment would provide a platform through which to raise awareness of the sector to local people.

“It is the intention of applicant and the FMA to market the facility and promote it to local school children, to demonstrate the history and tradition and explain the future, something which would not be possible currently due to the Health and Safety issues. This investment will enable the applicant and the FMA to safeguard traditional skills and maintain the Europe’s Food Town brand,” he added.