BVC August 2016 - page 18

18 August 2016 - Business View Caribbean
“They are no longer going out to catch as much fish
as they can, but they are trying to optimize the val-
ue, and satisfy the requirement of their markets,”
Haughton explained.
Applying the value chain approach begins with the
simple things, starting with preparatory activities
before the fishers go to sea, and then extending to
harvesting, handling, processing, marketing, and
“We can catch fish in such a way that we maximize
value just by targeting ‘when, where, what size, etc.’
we catch based on market demand; just by doing
that you can improve value. In some cases, it’s just
about maintaining the freshness and quality by im-
proving the handling of the product,” the CRFM ex-
ecutive director explained.
Whereas Caribbean countries have plenty of fisher-
ies resources, they also import a great deal, includ-
ing items such as smoked salmon for the tourism
industry. Countries like Suriname, the host country
for the training, are exploring ways in which they
can create viable local products to substitute for
those imports. The fisheries experts who traveled
to Suriname saw this firsthand, as they were offered
smoked “bang-bang” (snapper) -- a new local deli-
cacy served right alongside the imported product.
Haughton explained why understanding the market
demand is key for producers hoping to corner the
market to maximize local gains. “Think more about
the consumer: What is it that the consumer really
wants? What is it that the consumer will pay more
money for? There would be a major change overall
in the way fishers and processors conduct their op-
erations if they were to focus more on the consum-
ers,” he commented.
“The modern consumers, the housewives, are
looking for specific products. They are looking for
good nutrition, freshness, and easy-to-prepare
meals. These are things that fishers and proces-
sers will need to be thinking about. And those who
have thought through it, and who have structured
their operations along these lines, are making great
gains,” the CRFM executive director added.
He said that in the Caribbean region, fishers and
fish processing facilities start with the catch: “Their
starting point is to go and catch as much as they
can and when the product is landed they try to fig-
ure out how to sell it but the value chain approach
looks from the other end. It starts with the question:
What is the market that I want to serve? Where is
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