IFFO’s Annual Conference features high level panel and the EU commission
IFFO’s 58th Annual Conference was opened by IFFO’s President Eduardo Goycoolea who declared that this IFFO conference will challenge and answer the tough questions often facing the industry. Goycoolea led a panel discussion with industry leaders on the future of marine ingredients and the key challenges facing the industry. Panellists represented core stakeholder groups around marine ingredients and were Árni M. Mathiesen (Assistant Director-General, FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department), Ole Eirik Lerøy (Chairman of the Board, Marine Harvest ASA), Michiel Fransen (Head of Standards and Science Team, ASC), Dr George Chamberlain (President, Global Aquaculture Alliance), Jim Cannon (CEO, Sustainable Fisheries Partnership); and Pål Korneliussen (Publisher, IntraFish Media).
On opening the panel, Goycoolea stated that “If we ask the tough questions and engage our stakeholders, we can ensure the future of this vital industry. Marine ingredients are a reliable, stable and vital food source with potential growth through by-products. Let us be proud of what we do and the industry that we have”.
The overall message from the discussions is that the industry plays a key role in global food security but to continue to prosper the industry needs to adapt and remain innovative, while continuing to increase responsible and sustainable practices. Mathiesen called the industry to “tell your story honestly, act sustainably and responsibly to remain mainstream, if you help meet the global food challenge then you will be respected, and if you do this in an innovative way then you will be admired. As an industry you have adapted your products to ensure the success of the aquaculture industry, but as resources continue to become scarcer, more innovation will be needed. There are huge opportunities in producing further new marine ingredients from our oceans, your future is in your hands, be true to your name.” Chamberlain echoed Mathiesen by stating that “marine ingredients are the gold standard but supply needs to increase through by-products and the development of new innovative sources.”
The closing presentation of the first day was by Paolo Caricato, the Deputy Head of Unit, Health & Food Safety Directorate General for The European Commission. IFFO invited Caricato to the conference to give further clarification on the requirements under EU regulations for the importation of fish oil for human consumption into the EU, a topic which has featured heavily in the public domain and created some confusion.
The event is being attended by around 440 delegates joining from a record 45 countries. The sponsors for this event include Intertek, Haarslev, Dupps, SGS, Blueline Foods, Coland and Teampower. A full summary of the proceedings will be published daily on the IFFO Blog.