Icelandic processors’ organisation SFÚ (Samtök fiskframleiðenda og útflytjenda), which represents independent processors and exporters, was held last week and chairman Jón Steinn Elíasson was re-elected. SFÚ also took a firm stance at its AGM on the current threat of strike action by fishermen, backing the fishermen in their demands.
The fish price issue is central to the demands of fishermen’s and engineers’ unions, and they are demanding that all catches should go through the auction process instead of the bulk of landings being sold ‘in-house’ to processing operations run by vertically-integrated companies.
There is distinct opposition to this double system of pricing fish and both unions and SFÚ, which represents primarily processors that do not own their own fishing vessels, are pushing for the artificial pricing of fish that does not go through auctions by an industry committee to be abolished, as the Iceland Competition Authority had recommended some years ago.
SFÚ’s AGM placed emphasis the importance of the auction system as a route for new entrants to the industry. SFÚ also called for the coastal fishing scheme to be opened up to boost the amount of fish available on auctions.
‘SFÚ would like to stress that the turmoil within the Icelandic fishing industry is damaging to country’s economy, and co-operation is more productive for society than having special interests fighting for their own position,’ SFÚ stated.