China continues to be an important seafood import market, given that the worlds most populous country has an increasing presence of upper and middle classes who are keen on healthy food, experts said at the 22nd India International Seafood Show (IISS) here.
The marine food industry, though, must wake up to the fact that 'new retail' is the trend fast replacing 'online', where Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is building a retail ecosystem,innovatively blending online and offline channels in a unified way featuring the consumer at the centre in unexpected ways, a technical session of the February 7-9 summit here noted.
All the same, one should be wary of over reliance on China as a partner in seafood trade, the speakers pointed out while deliberating on the topic "Prospective Markets & Regulatory Environment".
Carson Roper, Seafood Industry Consultant, France, in his talk on 'China and Farm-Raised Shrimp', said that the East Asian country is a major marine products market that remains largely untapped.
Projections say that China will continue to feature among the worlds top 11 seafood markets, he observed in the presentation that focused on how China impacts global seafood trade and consumption.
Roper spoke earlier as well, starting the session with a presentation on 'Country and Brand Loyalty: An exploration of successful (and not successful) national and corporate seafood marketing initiatives.
The other speakers were Lee Chee Wee of Singapores Aquaculture Innovation Center (on 'Live shrimp transportation), Christopher Priddy, International Relations Specialist, USFDA, India (Overview of FDA regulations for seafood) and R M Mandlik, Deputy Director-Marketing, MPEDA (Importing country regulations and its impact on trade).
The session was moderated by C N Ravisankar, Director of Central Institute of Fisheries.
Mandlik, to a query on how MPEDA ensures flow of seafood standard regulations to the countrys aqua farmers, said the mechanisms on information dissemination are in place.
"The farmers do get the message well in time; only that we need to give them a push to act on it. We are working on it," he said.
The three-day biennial meet, with 'Blue Revolution: Beyond Production to Value Addition' as the focal theme, has been jointly organised by MPEDA (the 1972-founded nodal agency of the Union Ministry of Commerce & Industry) and the Seafood Export Association of India (SEAI).
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