Adapting to Change
The capture fishery in Atlantic Canada is currently in the early stages of radical change, mostly caused by forces outside our control.
Those forces include resources, markets, competition, currency exchange rates, labour force demographics, technology, and energy costs. In addition, non-governmental environmental groups (NGOs) continue to increase demands related to sustainability of fish catches and traceability of products, to ensure sustainability requirements are not circumvented.
Competitiveness — Part III
Last month, I discussed how to measure the competitiveness of our industry.
I concluded by suggesting four key measures:
Where and when can we sell our products?
How do the prices we receive compare with the prices received by competitors?
How do incomes compare to those of competitors?
How does our return on investment compare with that earned by competitors?
This month, I will discuss how our industry performs against these measures.
Before I get to the heart of the ...
Competitiveness: Part II
About two years ago, I wrote a column on competitiveness.
This month, I will tackle that subject again but from a different perspective. The topic seems particularly appropriate as we consider what to do with our rebounding northern cod resource, because there is intense competition in markets for cod and similar mild-tasting white-fleshed fish species and we will have to compete for a share of those markets against others already supplying them.
Competitiveness is not a well-understood ...
Quality and Price
Quality is a topic I have discussed many times in this column.
Specifically, I have talked about consumers’ expectations of quality, the fact that we don’t meet those expectations consistently and the additional fact that many harvesters don’t do what is needed to provide good quality raw materials to plants.
Last month, I suggested that, in failing to provide good quality raw materials, harvesters were simply responding to the price signals sent by processors, most of whom are ...
Incentives and Barriers to Change in the Fishery
A recurring theme in this column is the need for change in Atlantic Canada’s capture fishery.
That is because the need for change is something we deal with continually at the Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation (CCFI). We are involved in either initiating change or facilitating change initiated by others, to solve problems or take advantage of opportunities.
Almost everybody in the industry understands change is desperately needed. Practically everybody is dissatisfied with the way ...
Cod and Some Lessons from History
Several of my recent columns have focused on the increasing cod resource and how we can build a successful fishery based on it in the future.
This month, I will discuss the idea that, if we want to build a better future, we need to understand our past.
If you go the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization’s (NAFO) website, you can find a lot of historical data at http://www.nafo.int/data/frames/data.html. Currently, you can find reported catches for the period from 1960 to 2013, a ...
Cod — Building the Future
In recent columns, I have been discussing what the increasing abundance of cod is likely to mean for our capture fishery.
Last month, I asked the question, “Are we rebuilding the past or building the future?” I ended by suggesting we have to build an industry based on cod that has a reasonable chance of being successful —competitive in international markets, economically viable, capable of attracting people and investment, providing good incomes to participants, and ensuring the ...
Cod — Rebuilding the Past or Building the Future?
In the past couple of columns, I have discussed the increasing abundance of cod and what it may mean for our capture fishery.
Last month, I ended with the suggestion that we need to focus on the kind of future we want to build, not on the past we lost that really wasn’t as good as some people seem to think. This month, I will pick up from there.
As we contemplate what we will do in response to the return of cod, we need to ask ourselves, “are we rebuilding the past or building the ...
Cod and Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
A generation ago, baby boomers were entering the workforce in big numbers and they needed jobs.
In Atlantic Canada, a lot of those baby boomers lived in rural areas, with few local employment opportunities. Many were moving away, leaving their families and communities behind.
“Jobs, jobs, jobs,” was the rallying cry of politicians during elections, in the hope of getting themselves elected.
As it happened, the need for jobs occurred around the time Canada obtained the 200-mile ...
Increasing Income and Profitability in the Fishery
A value chain is the sequence of activities that ultimately delivers products and/or services to the final consumer.
In the capture fishery, for example, harvesters catch fish and sell them to processors, who turn them into a range of products and sell them to buyers, who may process them further or distribute them through retail stores, restaurants, or other channels to the consumers who eat the products.
The prices paid by the consumers at the end of the chain determine the overall ...