More than 20 shrimp producers have held talks aimed at creating a Global Shrimp Council to generally promote and grow shrimp consumption around the world by providing meaningful information about the industry. The meeting took place on the fringes of last week’s Global Shrimp Forum in Utrecht.
Producers from several countries including Ecuador, Mexico, India, Vietnam and Indonesia took part in the meeting, which was the initiative of industry leaders, Gabriel Luna, owner of Glunashrimp and David Castro, CEO of Manta Bay. They approached the GSF board and asked if the meeting could be held during this year’s GSF. Foundation Chair, Chris Ninnes facilitated the meeting.
There was broad agreement on a need to establish a global body to promote shrimp consumption across international markets, to benefit the whole industry. There was also a consensus that this organization needs to be producer-driven and whilst the USA is an important market, it should not be the only focus and the council should have a truly global influence.
Participants in the meeting heard the proposal that the Global Shrimp Council could be established within the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) in the US. Gabriel and David also explained the benefits and the conditions of an NFI hosted and managed Global Shrimp Council, with examples of how others operate in a similar way.
Commenting on the discussion, David Castro said that “the Global Shrimp Council is an initiative with the intention to harmonize the interests of participants in this significant industry through a systemic vision. One of these interests is to introduce the global consumer to the benefits of consuming the finest sustainably produced protein sources, such as shrimp. Shrimp is a flavourful, healthy and nutritious protein, that is accessible, easy to prepare, has low carbon emissions in production and uses minimal consumption of freshwater. I am greatly looking forward to seeing the outcome of our discussions and where this could take the industry.”
All participants were given the opportunity to debate the proposal. Those behind the project suggested next steps, which included further detailed work on deciding the most effective governance and the financing structure for the organization. The need for close cooperation with the producers throughout the process was also highlighted.
A follow-up meeting will be organized before the end of the year, with the aim of establishing the Global Shrimp Council in 2024. The Global Shrimp Forum will continue to host meetings as required.