One of the members of the PrimeFish Industry Reference Group, Maurizio Grispan has joined the PrimeFish Consortium in the meeting held in Milan from 30th September to 1st October. Being a member of the board of the Italian Aquaculture Producers Association and director of the Italian company Fattoria del Pesce, Grispan gave useful details about the Italian market and production performance, including recent trends of aquaculture in this Mediterranean country.
Italy produces about 40.000 freshwater trout tonnes per year that target internal consumers in a percentage of 50%, exportation (25-30%) and sport fishing (20-25%). Poland, Austria, Germany and certain parts of Switzerland stand out as the main markets for Italian trout. Internal consumption remains low with each Italian consuming between 200 and 250 grams per year, mostly as processed product. However, several initiatives promoted by Italian producers seeks to increase this fact, for instance through public campaigns with Andrea Bocelli. In their shopping list, other aquaculture products as seabass, seabream and salmon compete with freshwater trout.
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Fattoria del Pesce joins seven associates with decades of experience in the aquaculture industry. The entreprise is set in the Ticino Valley Nature Park, where Italian trout farmers began to operate in the late ‘50s. The company has over the 15% of market share with a production of rainbow trout and, in a small scale, other salmonids and cyprinids (brown trout, brook trout, artic chat or carp).
Italian aquaculture producers have developed promotional activities and synergies to the point of facilitating companies’ mergers. These endeavours have produced mixed results. They feel that one of their pending goals is to make consumers perceive the high quality of their aquaculture products, as environmental organizations like Friends of the Sea already distinguish.
From a sectorial perspective, Italian producers are working in more elaborated and easy to cook products such as medallions, burguers and coaded fillets. Promotional activities with young consumers, restaurants and catering companies have started to prove their usefulness.
Italian aquaculture sector is focused on finding a way to tackle future challenges as reducing intermediaries with e-commerce, sectorial strategies, genetic improvement and adaptation to new packaging trends. Collaboration with the PrimeFish project will support them to define and develop market oriented actions.
Photo credit: Fattoria del Pesce