Norway seeks local partnerships to promote seafood in China

By Su Liya Source:Global Times Published: 2018/2/13 19:13:40

Shanghai’s stomach for salmon

Royal Norwegian authorities in Shanghai recently organized an event for watching a Chinese food TV reality show about Norwegian seafood in a bid to promote Norwegian seafood in China.

The Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC) in China and the Royal Norwegian Consulate General in Shanghai jointly organized the episode-watching activity "Master Chefs meet Norwegian Seafood" in the Chinese reality program The Twelve Feng Taste, as part of its promotion.

Annual research launched by NSC indicates that Norway has been recognized as one of the biggest seafood countries by Chinese residents, according to Li Lu, a project manager in NSC in China.

The volume of Norwegian seafood exported to China in 2017 was 2.8 billion yuan ($441.54 million), up 25 percent year-on-year compared with 2016, according to Sigmund Bjorgo, director of the NSC in China.

"Shanghai is by far the most important market for Norwegian seafood, and the most important salmon city," Bjorgo told the Global Times, stressing that local consumers are now more knowledgeable and have more concern about where the seafood they eat comes from.

He feels that Shanghai is a ­signature market for seafood. NSC in China not only helps build the value chain but also helps the seafood industry in Norway participate in big-scale seafood exhibitions in Shanghai, where they will be able to meet with local buyers.

There is little doubt that Shanghai is now a target market to promote Norwegian seafood at local markets, but online retail throughout China can also be expanded. "E-commerce helps a lot," said Bjorgo.

The Norwegian seafood authority will continue to work on meeting its 2025 target. The project was launched in May of 2017 to promote Sino-­Norwegian seafood trade relations, aiming to increase the amount of seafood exportation from Norway to China to 10 billion yuan.

Norwegian salmon is one of the most recognized and consumed seafood species in China. The consumption of salmon in 2017 was between 80,000 and 85,000 tons.

The total Chinese market is expected to reach 240,000 tons of salmon from different countries by 2025. If Norway gets 65 percent market share in China, it will mean 156,000 tons of Norwegian salmon. The rest will be from other countries.

Bjorgo said that their estimation is based on the current and prospective situations such as urban populations and their respective incomes. They also believe that Chinese middle-class purchasing power will increase in the years to come.  "If our prediction is right, the world needs to produce more salmon just to supply China," said Bjorgo.

Chef prepares food at the event.


Norwegian salmon Photos: Courtesy of Royal Norwegian Consulate General in Shanghai



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