Pure Salmon to push ‘land-based, local salmon’ in brand identity

The sustainability of land-based production and the draw of locally produced food will be part of Pure Salmon’s brand identity when it begins marketing, according to Martin Fothergill, co-founder of 8F Investment Partners, the rm behind the global recirculating aquaculture system project.

He was speaking on Undercurrent News’ recent webinar, organized with Spheric Research: “Land-based salmon farming: Explosive growth through COVID-19 and beyond” (watch in full here, or at the bottom of the story).

“Pure Salmon” itself will be a brand, he con rmed. “The intention is that we will have branded product, because we believe the market is ready for branded products and not just white-label. That is going to help us get a premium product, but it’s also going to help around the messaging because one of the topics in the industry is ‘how do you convey to the public what they’re buying when they’re buying a land- based product?’.”

“The easiest way to do that is around a brand identity, and what it means to be buying a certain brand.”

Producing salmon close to the end consumer will be important to Pure Salmon not just from a cost reduction point of view, but also for the marketing bene ts, Fothergill said.

He pointed to the planned 10,000 metric ton facility in Boulogne-sur- Mer, France, and a 20,000t project in Virginia, US, as two prime examples.

“We’ll have a ‘made in France’ product, and a ‘made in the USA’ one. We shouldn’t underestimate how important that is in certain markets.”

“It’s also I think becoming increasingly important because of COVID, because of course there’s a lot more focus now on traceability of product: where has it come from, where’s it traveled, where’s it traveling from?”

Pure Salmon has brought in Xavier Govare, the former CEO of Labeyrie Fine Foods — Europe’s second-largest salmon processor, after Mowi — as chairman of the board of the French venture.

“Xavier brings with him over 30 years of experience in the food industry, including 15 years as chairman and CEO of Labeyrie Fine Foods Group,” Pure Salmon said at the time. It would be hard-pressed to nd somebody with more knowledge in salmon branding.


No worries around supply/demand

Spheric Research’s Matt Craze, chairing the webinar, brought up the supply and demand picture, and whether COVID-19 and the subsequent price drop for salmon had made the outlook any less rosy.

“My view is still the same,” said Roy Hoias, CEO and owner of Lighthouse Finance, the rm behind Sweden’s Quality Salmon. “If we hadn’t seen a drop in the salmon price under COVID-19, I would be terri ed actually, because it needs to react on the reality of the world and it has, it goes down.”

“But if you compare it to other industries, it’s survived very well. But my future view is that the going to take ve to 10 years to see some big volumes coming in, besides the 2.6 million [metric tons of net-pen salmon] we see today, it will take time.”

Essentially, Hoias — like most analysts which have looked at this sector for the last year — sees nothing on the horizon to change the fact that demand outstrips supply, prompting these sorts of production innovations.

Fothergill agreed, adding, “the industry cannot meet the supply that the market wants”.

“The way we’re focusing very much on going into markets where we’re going to be a relatively small proportion of that market, I don’t think there’s going to be a signi cant impact there,” he said.