If ever there was a time for the UK Seafood Industry to set aside individual self-interests and work collaboratively together, this is it.
The EU referendum outcome has clearly surprised a lot of people and businesses.
It does, however, present opportunities to improve the business environment in which organisations throughout the UK seafood supply chain are able to operate.
How can we extract the UK from the Common Fisheries Policy and re-set an improved fisheries management regime?
Will we be able to re-negotiate new international export tariffs and procedures to our advantage?
How will funding streams be secured post-EMFF?
Will regulations on food safety need to change?
Just some of the questions that we’ve heard this week from our industry stakeholders. More importantly, who will be leading on these important questions and how will the industry make itself heard in what will be a very crowded market place alongside other industries and interests making their own demands of Her Majesty’s Government?
As you would expect, Seafish is already taking stock of the key issues, talking to stakeholders, identifying and quantifying the risks and opportunities.
Our experts in the field of economics, regulation, trade, safety and training are working to highlight issues and opportunities now and are looking ahead to understand the longer term forecasts – that work will be shared with industry over the next few months.
The Seafish Common Language Group, our all industry forum, met in the week following the Referendum and discussed the potential Brexit implications and agreed to hold a ‘Brexit special’ session in October, to understand the implications of our insight work. This will take place in London on October 7.
In addition, the Humber Seafood Summit on September 27-28 will now feature a dedicated expert panel session on all the latest issues as they have developed over the summer months.
Finally,Our Brussels -based Stakeholder Advisor, Cristina Fernandez, will be reporting back on the latest developments in Brussels on a week by week basis.
There is no doubt that Seafish occupies a unique position; it is close to the industry and close to the government.
As such it is best placed to help draw all the strands together and help ensure that voices are heard and informed decisions are made.
It’s fair to say that we don’t have all the answers yet, but we are committed to doing the very best we can to keep the channels of communication open and keep everyone in the picture as this fascinating period of change takes shape.