Aquaculture promotion plan (seabream & seabass) 2012-2015

Aquaculture is a fast-growing sector of the Greek economy, driven by the significant increase in the international consumption of fishery products in recent years. The sector produces food of high nutritional value, has approximately 10,000 employees, and is the second highest exporter of agricultural goods by value, thus providing significant support to the national economy.    

The programme’s objectives are: 

  • To provide information about aquaculture products because it has been found – especially in Greece – that there is confusion regarding these products in terms of what types are available, their nutritional value, the conditions in which they are farmed, and the effects of aquaculture on the environment in general.    
  • To increase the number of consumers in Greece, as well as in Germany, France, Italy and the United States. 
  • To enter the markets of Bulgaria and Romania, the United States and Asia. 

The programme was financed by the Fisheries Operational Programme 2007-2013.

You can download a detailed presentation of the 2012-2015 programme for the promotion of euryhaline Mediterranean species (farmed seabream and seabass) here.

ACTIONS

Consumer Survey

A consumer survey was carried out, consisting of 2 parts: a qualitative survey and a quantitative survey.

A. Qualitative survey

The qualitative survey was carried out with:

  1. group discussions lasting 90-120 minutes with groups of 7-8 people from a wide range of consumers, with a trained social scientist as coordinator. 
    Twelve group discussions have been held in Athens, Thessaloniki, Heraklion and Larisa.
  2. In-depth interviews with specific subjects, i.e. supermarket buyers and individuals involved in the food-service sector

The interviews lasted approximately one hour and were held at the interviewees’ places of work:

  • Six buyers of fishery products from supermarket chains
  • Six buyers of fishery products from the food-service sector 

B. Quantitative survey

The quantitative survey was conducted through ten-minute telephone interviews using a structured questionnaire.

There were 2,500 interviews among the general population of the country.

Electronic communication - website

A website was created for the programme  with information about the sector, products, production processes and nutritional value of farmed seabream and seabass.

The site also featured recipes for adults and children, accompanied by advice on storage.

The site was updated once a week with articles, photographs, graphics or videos, such as: recipes, ways of using products, wines to accompany fish dishes and quality control during production, i.e. information that made visitors want to return to the site.

It was linked to social networks that were constantly monitored to respond to user posts and prevent malicious interference and spam posts.

There was also permanent monitoring of visitors and their history: where they came from, if they became permanent users, and which articles attracted most traffic. The results were used to shape the content.

Events for consumers and professionals in Greece

A total of 29 events were held, addressed to:

  • parents and guardians of school-age children
  • students at cookery schools
  • doctors & nutritionists
  • professional chefs and restaurateurs
  • foreign tourists at hotels in Greece

During the events, the chef Lefteris Lazarou cooked his own original recipes with aquaculture products, while the nutritionist informed participants about the high nutritional value of farmed fish and their protective action in the human body.

The events for doctors and nutritionists had a unique character, with the aim being to give them reliable information about the quality characteristics of farmed fish, so enabling them to provide appropriate information to consumers.

Invitations to buyers from target markets to visit production units in the sector

The programme included the organisation of visits to Greece by buyers from the programme’s target-markets: Italy, Germany, France and the USA.

In all, nine people from four target-markets were invited on a four-day visit to production units in the sector between June and October 2015.

Invitation to French journalists

From 8th to 11th October 2015, 10 French food writers visited Greece.

They visited a production unit in Chios, where they learned about the production process and the quality certification of the products.

Participation in commercial trade fairs abroad

There was participation in thirteen international trade fairs abroad.

The pavilion displayed the logo and slogan of the programme, while there were information leaflets and recipe cards available for visitors in the local language.

Three times a day there were tastings of dishes prepared by the chef Konstantinos Vassalos using farmed seabream and seabass.

Business Delegations

Three fact-finding missions took place with the participation of representatives from the sector to investigate the markets of the United States and Germany in the cruise and food-service sectors.

17-19 March 2015 in Miami for the Cruise Shipping Miami expo
28-30 June 2015 in New York
10-14 October 2015 in Cologne, Germany

Expo events

As part of Greece’s participation in the international Expo Milano from 1 May to 31 October 2015, two special events were held to promote Mediterranean aquaculture.

They took place on 24 June and 15 July 2015 in the open-air theatre of the Bio Mediterraneum Cluster, where the Greek pavilion was located. 

During the events, the winner of Italian MasterChef, Spyros Theodoridis, gave live demonstrations of two summer recipes for farmed seabream and seabass, and talked about the nutritional value of aquaculture products. He also showed visitors the proper way to prepare and cook a fish quickly and easily.

Events in France

On 21, 22 and 23 September 2015, the Evi Evane restaurant in Paris hosted a series of events for food writers and food-service professionals and wholesalers.

The sector’s representative, veterinarian ichthyologist Katerina Lytra, gave a presentation about the sector, with an emphasis on how the production process and product quality are certified.

Guests enjoyed a special menu of farmed seabream and seabass devised by Chef Nikolaou, which demonstrated the quality of the products and their wide range of uses.

USA events

UMASS “Chef’s Culinary Conference: The future of food” held in Amherst, Massachusetts, 7-9 June 2015

The UMASS conference was held for the 21st consecutive year at the University of Massachusetts. This culinary meeting aims to accelerate food-service concepts into the next generation – one that embraces health, sustainability, and food ethics, to meet the increasing diversity of consumer preferences. At the 2015 conference, speeches were made by leading experts and innovators in the food sector and there were many presentations and workshops with a variety of renowned chefs.

The sector’s presentation was made by the representative of the Federation of Greek Mariculture, Mr Pelekanakis, while the workshop was run by Ms Kochilas.

Event for journalists in New York

On 28 October 2015, food and lifestyle writers were invited to a meal in New York. The ambassador for Mediterranean farmed fish species was the famous New York chef Michael Psilakis.

Seventeen journalists representing print and online media in New York attended the event, and as they sampled the delicious seabream and seabass dishes, they heard from the representative of the Federation of Greek Mariculture about farmed seabream and seabass in Greece and the quality characteristics of the products, and about the quality assurance procedures and export possibilities. 
 
New York Fish Festival

From 8 to 22 November 2015, a food festival was held in 15 restaurants in New York City to promote the consumption of farmed seabream and seabass.

Factual and promotional material was available in the restaurants about Mediterranean aquaculture, while the menu comprised seabream and seabass dishes accompanied by a special treat of Greek tsipouro.

On 28 October 2015, a journalistic meal was held in New York.

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