João Aguiar Machado, Director-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, discussed with sector representatives from the producing, processing and retailing lines, and the audience how to respond to and put to use consumer expectations. The debate built on the findings of a recent Eurobarometer survey on consumer habits regarding fisheries and aquaculture products.
The study highlighted that 42% of EU citizens eat seafood at least once a week, that they are very attentive consumers who value the information provided on labels and that they have a preference for local species and wild fish.
All speakers emphasised the need to improve the understanding of consumer habits and expectations by establishing better lines of communication. As Franks Carter from Wild Atlantic Shellfish Ltd. pointed out, producers should always proactively reach out to their customers to gather their feedback and take the time to explain the value of their product.
Open, transparent and constant dialogue will benefit administrations, businesses and consumers alike, ensuring that a diverse offer of high-quality, healthy and sustainable products reaches the store-shelves every day.