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ผู้เขียน หัวข้อ: Mussel producers in search of new markets  (อ่าน 2396 ครั้ง)
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A Chilean mussel line. Chile is the fourth largest exporter of the shellfish in the world. (Photo: UACh)

Mussel producers in search of new markets

CHILE
Tuesday, February 02, 2010, 15:30 (GMT + 9)

The economic downturn last year led Chilean mussel orders to tumble overseas, forcing local producers to begin looking for new commercial opportunities.

Last January the Production Development Corporation's (CORFO) Integrated Farmed Mussel Territorial Programme (PTI) set up two meetings with the national mitiliculturists to deal with these issues.

The meeting was the framework chosen to present some initiatives to counteract this situation, among which the construction of a country-image and the opening of markets stand out.

One of the meetings, held in Port Montt (Region of Los Lagos) on 29 January, was attended by the manager of the PTI, Jorge Munoz; the manager of Asvid, Lydia Vidal; one of the directors and founders of Netuno – producer and marketer of products from the sea of Brazil, Hugo Campos; and several producers of Chilean mussels.

 
Frozen half shell mussel for export. (Photo: Stock File)
Those present jointly analysed the state of the industry and the possibilities of diversifying a centralised market in Europe.

Asvid was summoned by the PTI to undertake a study of potential markets and to help build an image of the Chilean bivalve that would help to increase its national and international consumption.

According to Vidal, Chilean and foreign buyers do not know that Chile is the world’s fourth leading mussel exporter, and that this mollusc is cultivated in certified waters.

It is also not known that its meat is highly nutritious, healthy, versatile and prized by gourmet markets.

This mollusc has “a low consumption,” is not front-of-mind with consumers and is “prejudiced by its consumption,” the Asvid manager indicated.

In order to revert this situation, the communication campaign aims to quadruple mussel consumption in Chile, to position the product in the mind of consumers with positive messages and to promote the advantages of mussel ingestion.

Domestically around 14,000 tonnes of raw material are consumed, equivalent to 10 per cent of the farmed mussel total.

Mexico at present produces 280 tonnes of farmed mussel and nearly 124 tonnes of wild mollusc. In addition, it imports between 200 and 250 tonnes from New Zealand (83 per cent), China and Chile.

“Faced with the New Zealand product, the Chilean is the more attractive option in terms of price and, in comparison with internal production, the Chilean mussel represents a reliable supply in terms of volume, price, quality and food security,” Vidal emphasised.

Meanwhile, the manager of the Brazilian company Netuno, with annual sales of USD 100 million, said that “Brazil is passing through a very good economic time and is expected to become one of the world’s main economic powers in several years.”

The annual per capita consumption of fish is 6 kg at present, and the government is trying to elevate it to 8 kg. “In this sense, mussel has great opportunities,” he asserted.

During the meeting, Campos encouraged Chilean producers to form alliances to leverage the commercialisation of the mussels in Brazil through the launching of advertising campaigns and meetings with cooks.

“Just imagine, the State of Pernambuco has 55 million inhabitants, without counting the tourists. That is a whole country that can be taken advantage of,” added the director of the Brazilian company.

In other news, Manuel Bagnara Vivanco, regional director of CORFO, clarified that “although studies exist that allowed the state of the markets to be visualised, defining a prioritisation of them, the successful development of markets demands the building of an image and effective positioning in the same, for which linking both initiatives is considered necessary,” El Llanquihue reports.

The accumulated mussel harvest through the month of November 2009 totalled 156,400, falling 11.4 per cent from its total of 176,600 tonnes through November 2008, reveals data furnished by the National Fisheries Service (SERNAPESCA).

The mussel harvest is almost entirely produced by Region X, that is, 99.9 per cent.

Some 2.338,8 tonnes of mussels were exported in October 2009 at a FOB value of more than USD 5.9 million, whereas 1,536.1 tonnes worth USD 4.8 million was sold overseas in the same month of 2008, Chile Customs disclosed.

Related article and information:

- Seafood landings dip through December
- CRAB/SHELLFISH MARKET REPORT, 15 December 2009

By Analia Murias
editorial@fis.com
www.fis.com

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