Blue food and the role of marine ingredients in being part of the solution to food security was the focal point of presentations at the IFFO members’ meeting held in Miami earlier this month. This was IFFO’s first members meeting since the start of the pandemic, with presentations from across the value chain, covering the latest market trends, technical developments and industry wide discussions.
IFFO is using its central position ‘as the uniting platform coordinating the value chain with a role in the food production system through engagement with international organisations such as the United Nations’ FAO and the World Economic Forum,’ according to IFFO president Gonzalo de Romaña.
‘We have a great story to tell about the industry’s pivotal role in securing sustainable protein,’ he said.
IFFO director general Petter Martin Johannessen reported that a deficit in feed ingredients of 30-40 million tonnes to meet FAO’s goal of fed aquaculture production in 2030 is predicted.
‘The focus needs to be on how the sustainable ingredients available can be utilised in the most efficient way to meet the need for healthy proteins in the future. Nutrition rather than calories should be the core focus,’ he said.
Looking to geopolitical and environmental factors, Rabobank speaker Stephen Nicholson highlighted the long-term consequences of the Ukraine invasion on international trade and supply of terrestrial ingredients while Professor Ray Hilborn of the University of Washington explained that more variability is to be expected in fish populations as a result of climate change.
‘The abundance of small pelagic species fluctuates more greatly from environmental conditions than from fishing pressure,’ he commented.
Melanie Siggs of the Global Seafood Alliance highlighted the recognition of blue food at an international level.
‘There is huge potential in the whole fish paradigm: measurements are the first step to increasing by-product availability, capturing and repurposing nutrition with 100% usage. The momentum is there but accountability and collaboration are key,’ she said.