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Photo courtesy from Fish Union

Alexander Panin: 'Russia needs a fish promotion program'

Click on the flag for more information about Russian Federation RUSSIAN FEDERATION
Friday, December 02, 2022, 07:00 (GMT + 9)

The solution to the problem lies in the program for the promotion of fish at the state level, the introduction of high-quality and tasty fish dishes in the diet of preschool and school institutions.
 
Most producers in the fishing industry are confidently overcoming the difficulties that have arisen due to the growing sanctions pressure. Still, the consequences of the sanctions make themselves felt. “The balance of raw materials in 2022 will be approximately 2.5 million tons. Last year, this figure was at the level of 3.1 million tons. We forecast a decrease in consumption by almost 20%. At the same level, the largest federal retailers record a decrease in sales in the fish category, ” says Alexander Panin, head of the Fish Union.
 
According to the calculations of the Fish Union, the real consumption of fish products in Russia does not exceed 15 kg per person per year. However, the principles for compiling consumption statistics differ widely among departments. If the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation establishes rational consumption standards for the amount of product that goes into food, then other departments focus on raw fish (that is, with a head, tail, bones, etc.).
 
Pacific herring and mackerel preserve products made in Russia
 
“In the Strategy for the Development of the Fishing Industry, a Rosstat report is used to assess consumption parameters, based on data obtained through a survey of households. According to this report, fish consumption in the Russian Federation is at the level of 22 kg per person per year. But these data do not fit with another Rosstat report - on the balance of fish raw materials in the Russian Federation. If we multiply 146 million (the population of the Russian Federation) by 22 kg, we get about 3.2 million tons of consumed products. And in terms of the balance of raw materials (whole fish), as mentioned above, in 2021 we had a total of 3.1 million tons. It turns out that after 3.1 million tons of fish were decapitated and gutted, we got 3.2 million tons of products. 

Nonsense… We are consistently in favor of clarifying the methodology for calculating consumption,” says Alexander Panin. One of the main reasons for the low consumption of fish is global changes in consumer trends. “In our country, these objective trends are exacerbated by the complete absence of a unified state program for the popularization of fish. The active growth of exports, including practically unprocessed fish, can also be attributed to negative factors - in 2022 it grew by 20% compared to the previous one. A large amount of raw materials goes abroad, while imports stagnate. 
 
Frozen pollock portions develop by Dobroflot for internal russian market -->

Another reason is the quality that does not satisfy the consumer and the high cost of products,” explains the head of the association. The Fish Union is confident that increasing fish consumption is a strategically important task, directly related to the quality of life of the population. “To meet the needs of Russians, it is possible either to artificially limit the export of raw materials, which is detrimental to the industry, or support domestic processing and demand. Today, fish processing in the B2C segment does not receive support,” sums up Alexander Panin.

 


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