Extensive discussion took place over two days as part of the United Seafood Industry Forum in Adelaide, which was opened by the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston.
‘Unanimous agreement was reached on the need to develop a new national peak body for the Australian seafood industry (wildcatch, aquaculture and post harvest) by business leaders,’ said National Seafood Industry Alliance chair Katherine Winchester. ‘A taskforce, with agreed terms of reference, was formed and will establish a structure and funding model for the body within three months of its first meeting.’
The group unanimously supported Martin Exel of Austral Fisheries to chair the taskforce, and it was agreed that communications will be distributed to the wider seafood industry following each meeting of the taskforce. The industry-led forum was co-chaired by Stuart Richey of Richey Fishing Company, and Jonas Woolford of the Abalone Industry Association.
‘The forum decided to progress with the establishment of the national peak body in a methodical fashion, and will meet again in three months time to discuss and agree upon recommendations from the taskforce,’ said Stuart Richey.
‘I was comforted and encouraged to see a room full of innovative and progressive business leaders engage and commit to developing an Australian seafood industry body,’ said Jonas Woolford.
The forum follows extensive nation-wide industry consultation, and the release of a progress report in February 2016. The United Seafood Industries project is commissioned by the National Seafood Industry Alliance, and funded by the Australian Government. Inovact Consulting are the project managers of this project, and will provide administrative support to the taskforce.