CAIA Newsletter ~ Winter 2017

Minister LeBlanc addressed responsible, sustainable growth of aquaculture at the CAIA National Forum.

Minister LeBlanc addressed responsible, sustainable growth of aquaculture at the CAIA National Forum.

Federal Commitment to Sustainable Growth & New Aquaculture Act Tops the Agenda at CAIA National Forum in Ottawa

A commitment by Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc to sustainable aquaculture growth and a new federal Aquaculture Act topped the agenda at the successful 2016 National Forum and Annual General Meeting of CAIA on November 29-30 in Ottawa.  

“Aquaculture is both socially responsible and ecologically sustainable," said Minister Leblanc as he committed to a work plan to see an Aquaculture Act pass in the government’s current mandate.

The Minister stressed the need to coordinate between federal agencies and provincial and territorial governments, to explore options for enacting legislation and a more coherent regime for aquaculture. The Minister highlighted that the goal of an Act would be to reduce regulatory burden, encourage transparency and enable growth.

The announcement was very well received by participants at the conference. On behalf of industry, Ruth Salmon, Executive Director responded to the Minister’s presentation with these remarks:

"We are committed to working in partnership with the federal government, First Nations, stakeholders and provincial governments across Canada to secure a new regulatory regime that is science based, transparent, and accountable. If we are successful we believe Canada will harvest new jobs and revitalize hard hit rural communities for generations to come.”

The announcement that this government will work towards the development of an Aquaculture Act is a milestone achievement for the aquaculture industry, as a federal aquaculture Act has been identified as a key priority for years. Over the coming months, CAIA will work closely with the federal and provincial governments to ensure the proposed Act meets industry needs.

Economic Growth, Public Trust and Telling our Story

A diverse range of inspirational and thought provoking speakers followed the Minister’s opening remarks.

“Canada’s share of global aquaculture production is vastly underweight given our natural endowments – so how will this sector get to a 30 Billion share by 2025?”

This was the bold challenge that Andrew Pickersgill of McKinsey & Co., delivered during his keynote presentation at the CAIA Forum.

Earlier in 2016, the Finance Minister, Bill Morneau, announced the Government’s new Economic Growth Council, which was mandated to advise the government on steps to create long-term economic growth in Canada. Dominic Barton, of McKinsey & Co., was selected by the Finance Minister Bill Morneau to chair the council. As keynote speaker, his colleague Andrew Pickersgill, elaborated on the Council’s work, which includes the concept of building global champions in the Canadian agri-food industries, including aquaculture. In addition to the ambitious goal of 30+ Billion by 2025, Andrew also shared the following vision with the audience:

  • Agri-food will be one of the most important sectors in the world over the next 20 years and Canada can become the global leader in safe, nutritional, and sustainable food
  • Aquaculture will need to be part of Canada’s solution to disruptive changes in global supply and demand for agri-food and proteins in particular

The Forum also featured speakers that examined consumer and public perceptions, social license and emerging communication tools.

Marketer, Author and Radio Host Terry O’Reilly delivered an inspiring talk about the importance of evoking emotion in our communication. He shared real life examples of advertising successes where the marketing message was compelling - and was felt - not just understood.

Neilson Perishables, a company that monitors food trends at the US retail level, regularly presents at the CAIA Forum. Based on the current consumer and retail landscape in the US, Matt Lally was able to identify challenges and opportunities for the expansion of Canadian farmed seafood sales into retail.

Rory McAlpine of Maple Leaf Foods outlined his company’s sustainability and transparency approach towards building public trust. Drawing from Maple Leaf’s experience of effectively managing a food safety crisis, Rory’s messages were credible and well received.

David Smith from the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity (CCFI) highlighted feedback from their recent consumer research, which provided a clear picture of what consumers are concerned about in the Canadian food system.

Melissa Hartfied of Food Bloggers of Canada together with PR professional, Heather Travis delivered an overview of social media and provided a strong case for the value of engaging in influencer marketing.

Access to copies of the presentations from the event were distributed via email to registered participants of the event on December 19, 2016. Participants who did not receive the email should contact us.

At the AGM on November 30th, a Roundtable Discussion with Catherine Blewett, Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada focused on future opportunities for the aquaculture industry in Canada.  CAIA members shared examples to show that no country is more uniquely positioned to play a global leadership role in sustainable and responsible aquaculture than Canada.