Seafood Industry Australia (SIA), the national peak body representing the Australian seafood industry, has applauded consumers for supporting their local seafood industry over the festive season and driving a 30 per cent growth in December seafood sales.
“It’s no secret 2020 was a hard year for the Australian seafood industry,” SIA CEO Veronica Papacosta said.
“We needed a bumper Christmas period to help us claw our way back, we called on the community to support us and switch one meal on the Christmas table to Australian seafood, and we are beyond thrilled to report they did just that.
“Australian’s well and truly farewelled the traditional Christmas roast in favour of our fresh, easy as, great Australian seafood. It’s encouraging to see so many Aussies supporting their local seafood producers and we hope this continues.
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“We’re hearing from retailers and producers right across the country that they’re up, on average, 30 per cent from last year’s December sales. We know this isn’t every retailer or producer, those who rely on cross-border trade and exports weren’t as fortunate, but we’ve heard countless reports of queues forming at 6am and people waiting very patiently for one-two hours to support their local producers; and we thank you.
“While we’ve had wonderful festive sales, this doesn’t mean we’re completely in the clear, but this goes a long way to help. Our key foodservice and export markets are still trending down, and as an industry we continue to be impacted by the ongoing trade riff with China.
“Australian Prawns, Rock Oysters, Crabs and Bugs were the most popular this season, with Australian Rock Lobsters finding a very welcome home as a table centrepiece. This 2020 surprise Christmas hit was made possible thanks to the major retailers, Woolworths and Coles, and our fantastic network of independent retailers all chipping in to help us get more Aussie seafood onto Aussie tables, including the coveted $20 Western Rock Lobsters.
“We need people to continue to support their local seafood industry, and to do that they just need to eat more Australian seafood! If just one per cent of the population committed to changing one meal a week to locally sourced Australian seafood like prawns, salmon or snapper that would be more than 250,000 meals per week of Australian seafood on tables around the country. This could mean the difference between a fisher making or missing a mortgage payment, and a boat heading out of harbour or spending another week docked.
“To help people find Australian seafood near them they can visit the Great Australian Seafood website and click on the Fish Finder where people can search by postcode for retailers near them, there’s even an icon to let you know if they’re selling Australian Rock Lobsters.