Fish to the masses – through restaurants

Restaurateurs and fishermen at the round table discussed opportunities to promote mass fish species in the domestic market and problems that have to solve along the way.

The event at TASS was attended by the head of Rosrybolovstvo Ilya Shestakov, the President of the Federation of restaurateurs and hoteliers of Russia Igor Bukharov, President of the Russian Association of fishery enterprises, entrepreneurs and exporters, German Zverev, the heads of the leading fishing companies, restaurateurs, processors.

Opening the discussion, Ilya Shestakov proposed to discuss opportunities for promotion in the first place the mass of the target species. He noted that it is not so much about the crab, salmon or smelt these types of in the special promotion don’t need, and fishermen have no problems with their implementation.

“We’re not talking about seafood, not talking about crab, it is not the object of mass consumption. I wish we could promote a product like Pollock, would like to understand how to promote halibut, how to promote squid. Is a product that we have enough mass goes. And, of course, new species, which in the long term we have to catch is the mackerel, and iwashi”, – said the head of the fish Department.

According to him, we need to create some system of promotion of domestic fish products that would fit and fishermen and restaurateurs. “I think we are a model need to find. We discussed how she might look. Offer at this stage, maybe together with restaurateurs to arrange some seasonal festivals seasonal fish species,” voiced the idea of Ilya Shestakov, adding that for a start it can be four events a year – in relation to the seasons of the year.

“Fish products are in demand, desired, popular and interesting for the restaurant business,” expressed the opinion of the famous Russian restaurateur Arkady Novikov. He gave the example of major foreign network Nordsee fish cafe, which has been successfully operating in many European countries, including through proper distribution of raw materials and semi-finished products for their establishments.

As the correspondent of Fishnews, representatives of the restaurant business in General agreed that the Russian fish to popularize the need, shared his experience of cooperation with domestic suppliers of fish products, it is often difficult and unsuccessful, but noted that in recent years the situation is gradually changing for the better.

The problem is partially gone, but the restaurant chain is still not satisfied with the lack of guarantees of a stable supply, strong price hikes during the year, and inconsistent product quality. Many would like to get more comfortable for the chefs semi-finished product, there is no claim to legacy Standards, in particular, on the calf.

“We have suppliers that are at least half a year to hold a price,” – said the owner of a network “Meat&Fish” Sergei Mironov. According to him, this situation is largely related to the seasonality of the fishery, along with the need to resolve issues with the storage of products increases business costs.

The widespread farming of salmon and other aquaculture has played a cruel joke with the qualification of the kitchen staff – wild fish often need a very different approach. “Our chefs do not know how to work on the Russian fish”, – admitted Sergey Mironov, noting that the result we have to develop a recipe from scratch. Restaurateurs are ready to solve this problem, but would like to have confidence in the sources of raw materials.

According to German Zverev, the “genetic code” of the fishing industry, created the Soviet fishery management system is largely a barrier to full communication of the fishermen and restaurant business. He reminded that fishing in the USSR was very different from Italy, Spain, Japan, China, Indonesia, USA and other countries, where a substantial part of fish produced in the coastal waters from small boats and transported to shore.

“The economy of the Soviet management system was built differently. This large vessels, which go far into the sea – hundreds, thousands of miles away, frost fish. This industrial code of the Soviet management system to combine with what is required, what should the new restaurant business is quite difficult,” – said the President of VARPE.

Many fishing companies at various times tried to promote in the domestic market or that are unusual for our country products and faced with great difficulties. Among the problems that hinder the fishermen to interact with restaurateurs, the President of PJSC “TIGER” Sergei Darkin called, above all, logistics – shipping takes too long, difficulty with the paperwork, the dominance of the so-called “ohlazhdenku”-defrost.

“We have no operator that could take the whole chilled fish and seafood in the far East, to bring them to Moscow and there to make the game all the restaurants. This is the biggest problem that we have today, and it is, unfortunately, very hard to decide,” he said.

About necessity of creation of specialised structure which could organize the purchase and delivery of fish products in required volumes from the ports to the capital, said the restaurant owners. But to invest in the “hub, which is set to fish”, no one desire until on fire.

Hard to break stereotypes in relation to the mass of Russian fish – Pollock, although progress is already there. “The new generation doesn’t know what the Pollock have cats to feed”, – shared his observations the representatives of the restaurant business. This is also confirmed by the fishermen.

“The mentality remains, but our statistics says that the Pollock at the moment, the Russian market shows the largest growth. We at Pollock fillet sales increase more than 100% each year. This year under 10 tons came, – said the representative of the holding “Norebo” Vyacheslav Sturza. – First and foremost due to the fact that the changed approach to product – single-freezing, modern packaging”.

Ilya Shestakov reminded about the plans for tax incentives for supplying the domestic market can also encourage fishermen to a more close contact with the HoReCa segment. “Companies that will take on export, will pay more taxes due to the tax rates. And those who will carry on the domestic market, after connecting the system “mercury” we will be able to track it all down will have a discount of 85%. So I think that from the point of view of buying opportunities and competition with the outside market, a small advantage will be created”, – said the head of the Agency.

In General to adjust to the demands of restaurateurs will not all fishermen, but not all of it is necessary, says German Zverev. “This is the locomotive that will pull out leaders, the leaders would join other. Some part of the industry, of course, will never go in this segment, we have to be realistic, he said. And some part of the industry will be. I think even if 10-15% goes, it’s a big plus”.

The round table agreement was signed between the Federal fisheries Agency and the Federation of Restaurateurs and hoteliers on cooperation in the field of combating illegal fishing and sales of fish products. In addition, the participants held a tasting of fish and seafood with an emphasis on dishes from “seasonal” fishing grounds – navaga, smelt, and Pollock.
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