August 19th, 2015
The Canadian seafood industry represents one of the most economically successful food processing industries exporting goods external to the country. They export over 70% of total revenues to over 80 countries worldwide, including China and Japan, and significant exports to the United States. Since the year 2000, seafood exports represent between 69 and 85% of overall exporting sales, with almost $5 billion in exports last year.
While the United States often far outstrips Canada in every food-processing sector, seafood processing in Canada represents a proportionately large sector in comparison. With close to 30,000 employees across the country, the Canadian seafood packaging and processing industry is an important contributor to the global Canadian economy of food.
Two organizations divide responsibility in the industry: Fisheries and Oceans Canada, who look after the production side, while Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada looks after the export and market development side of the relationship for fish and seafood (amongst a wide range of other food and beverage products).
Last year, the top five valued exports by species in Canada all came from the seafood industry. Lobster is Canada’s top export in terms of value, gathering $1.52 billion in exports last year alone. The other four are snow/queen crab, shrimp, Atlantic salmon, and scallops.
The Seafood Expo Global
Representing over 70 countries with more than 17,000 exhibiting companies, the Seafood Expo Global in Brussels, Belgium signifies an important event that members of the Canadian and global seafood industries partake in. As the largest seafood event in the world, it attracts seafood suppliers from across the world looking to meet the very best industry leaders from every corner of the world.
Over a three day period that usually falls in April each year, the Seafood Expo provides opportunities for vendors and consumers alike to discover new products, source a vast range of seafood and seafood products, engage with new services and equipment from around the world, and establish valued connections with industry professionals. These contacts share industry knowledge and expertise with one another through discussions of best practices and techniques.
For anyone looking to do business in the global seafood industry, the Seafood Expo is a necessary stop. Representatives from Canada often place amongst the Expo’s highlights.
In 2014, the Canadian Lobster Industry launched the Canadian Lobster Brand at the Expo to help highlight the significance and quality of Canadian lobster on a world scale. The goal is to generate knowledge and understanding of Canadian lobster products, demonstrating the values and beliefs that set the Canadian industry apart from their global competitors in the lobster and other premium protein sectors.
As the world’s leader in lobster harvesting, processing, and live shipping, it was only time before the industry took steps to raise lobster’s profile on an international stage. Over 25,000 buyers, suppliers, media, and various other seafood representatives from around the world attended the 2014 Expo, and the Canadian lobster was certainly not forgotten.
The Canadian aquaculture industry generates in excess of $1 billion in Gross Domestic Product on a yearly basis. As aquaculture is the fastest developing food production activity around the globe, Canada’s seafood industry is well situated to represent this burgeoning industry with their high quality seafood products. Watch as the industry continues to make waves in the years to come.