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Fresh seafood is the segment where we can make a difference and supply the market while our competitors will have trouble doing the same.

“You have a tremendous growth in both fine dining, Japanese sushi and sashimi restaurants, international cuisine being very strong here and also you see an influx from Singapore in the whole region when it comes to trends and also the way people work in professional kitchens. We see Singapore as a very important educational platform – there are many strong chef schools in Singapore that educate for the whole region. So by working with young chefs we create seafood and salmon ambassadors for Norway for generations to come!” Norwegian Salmon exports to Asia show steady growth. The volume in October topped 12,000 tonnes of which 5000 tons were sold to Singapore. Marketing research is the most important thing NSC can do in Singapore, according to Christian, and pushing salmon even higher up on the seafood ladder. That translates into working deeply together with major retailers like Cold Storage on promotions, PR, marketing and other activities to build the sales and longterm commitment to the consumers. Sushi and sashimi is also a strong trend in this region, just as throughout the world, where red salmon is often served. “Fresh seafood is the segment where we can make a difference and supply the market while our competitors will have trouble doing the same,” he says

Search for perfection Christan Chramer has a background as an officer and information officer in the Norwegian army but he sees more similarities than differences when comparing his job in the army with his current job with NSC. “Especially the professional mindset of people involved in the seafood industry remind me of my previous job in the army. I’m very proud to see how we all strive for perfection and want to do our very best.” “And seafood is so important to Norway as a country and Norwegians as a whole. I feel seafood is gaining attention in many areas of Norway’s public life and that

my colleagues in the company and the people of the industry are really focusing on producing the best possible seafood for the large world community.” “We sell seafood to 150 different countries so we provide food to enormous amounts of people, which must be safe, healthy and fresh in many instances. And it must be made in the way people would like to have it and available when people would like to consume.” Social media and CSR are also among Christian’s professional interests. NSC effectively uses social media for, among other things, corporate communication (recently was also launched) and issues management (it has been the driver in their internal, online Crisis wiki that allows communication in real time in one shared workspace across their 14 global locations.)

Sustainability efforts “As the world leader both in standards, technology and volume it should not be surprising that aquaculture in Norway is followed closely by both media, consumers and NGO’s/ ENGO’s. In my opinion we address this in the way critical questions are best addressed: By openness, transparency and dialogue,” comments Christian. He says that NSC enjoys a very good and open dialogue with WWF Norway and other ENGO’s such as Bellona. “We have an on-going cooperation with WWF to meet on a regular basis to discuss any critical questions and to see how we can work harder to promote sustainable seafood and what we can do as in industry player. I sincerely believe that we are doing a fair share on that and will be doing even more in the future.” “Norwegian seafood farming practices and status is very transparent with data on undesirables, use of antibiotics, escapes from sea farms etc. available to the all online.” Escapes from sea farms where down to 30 000 in 2012, which is the lowest figure ever compared to a peak of 921 000 in 2006.

Salmon lice and escapes are key environmental challenges, concerning issues of genetics, ecology and the risk of spreading disease, which has a negative impact on the industry’s image, according to the Norwegian Ministry Of Fisheries And Costal Affairs.

Good environmental conditions a precondition NSC’s ‘Strategy for an Environmentally Sustainable Norwegian Aquaculture Industry’ shows that Norway is taking these issues very seriously. This strategy forms the plan for many actions being taken, and future goals. In 2004, Norway became the first country in the world to introduce a scheme laying down requirements and a technical standard for aquaculture (NYTEK) to ensure farming conducted on environmentally responsible lines. Furthermore, in 2007 Norway decided to set up of a total of 52 national salmon watercourses and 29 national salmon fjords, with stricter regimes for aquaculture to be applied for the sake of the wild salmon. Such areas enjoy special protection under the Aquaculture Act. The greatest potential for growth is in the farming of salmon, cod and shellfish and where eco-friendly, sustainable production is a precondition for long-term development and growth, according to the ministry. It also points to a self-interest form the fish farmers in maintaining good water quality and avoiding any negative impact on their surroundings: The aquaculture industry depends on good environmental conditions and water quality. Norway has depended on a combination of strict health regulations, close safety monitoring and continuous work to develop the industry, writes NSC. While in the past, there were concerns about aquaculture’s impact on the environment advancements have eliminated many of those objections. For example, every farm must be licensed and operated in an environmentally appropriate location.

Also, use of antibiotics is no longer an issue whereas 15 years ago it was widespread, according to Christian. “It is something that sticks to the industry as a perception of salmon. We give all the small juvenile fishes a vaccine against all the known diseases that it can catch throughout the life cycle.” “The volumes have grown substantially at the same time as the use of antibiotics are reduced by 99 % from the levels of 1987,” Christian comments the latest figure (a total of 905 kilos) from the Norwegian veterinarian institute.

Certification and green concessions The continued success of the Norwegian seafood industry is dependent on meeting and exceeding international food-safety demands. So Norway also has the highest number of third party eco certifications via KRAV, Friends of The Sea, Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) etc. The NSC runs a programme and works with partners to transform the world’s seafood markets and promote sustainable fishing practices. “We have to be present on many different arenas but we are very strong on eco certification and I really believe that it is part of the positioning that we will see for seafood from Norway,” says Christian. Global standards for aquaculture are also in the pipeline where Norwegian companies have been closely involved in the process. For organic salmon production there are already several companies in Norway selling organic labelled fish. Norway’s government has recently also proposed the allocation of 45 new green salmon concessions in 2013 of which 35 means switching to the new green version. This is a very positive signal about continuous development in the right direction regarding the production of the world’s best seafood products under the strictest aquaculture legislation in the world,” comments Christian.

December 2012 • ScandAsia.Singapore 19

ScandAsia Singapore - December 2012  

December 2012 edition of ScandAsia Singapore for Scandinavian residents from Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland living in Singapore.

ScandAsia Singapore - December 2012  

December 2012 edition of ScandAsia Singapore for Scandinavian residents from Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland living in Singapore.