Back at the Brussels Seafood Expo Global / by Francisco Blaha

I'm back at the Seafood Expo Global/Seafood Processing Global (formerly the European Seafood Exposition/Seafood Processing Europe) is the world’s largest seafood trade event. More than 25,800 buyers, suppliers, media, and other seafood professionals from 150 countries visit the exposition. It is the global place where the seafood industry marketing big players mingle... as you imagine, is not an environment where I strive.

I struggle with some of these people with their suits, ties and expensive watches that believe they are the ultimate genius in the fishing industry, but they would not last 5 minutes in a fishing boat. They are so far removed from the reality on the vessels and fishers and the struggles that both face, yet based their fake smiles and 2nd hand car salesman attitude you may think that the fishing world is flourishing and perfect. (As in every aspect of life, they are great exemptions to my cliche views)

I'm here since part of my work portfolio is with a Swiss Government organisation (SIPPO) whose innovative approach to assistance, is to by-pass governments and offer assistance directly to small and medium size producers in some development and transitional countries that pass some stringent criteria in regards sustainability, compliance and social responsibility.

The package that SIPPO offers this companies includes a stand at fair, extensive matchmaking services, a communication package, support during the preparation and follow-up phase, a preparation workshop in Brussels and hotel accommodation during the trade fair.

My work is to advice the organisation during the selection process and during the trade show offer them technical support around market access issues, eco-labelling and private certifications.

Furthermore with my friend Raul from - Freshfish - (Branding -Strategy - Design) we are contracted do the exhibitor brochure for the Expo, and in this occasion they are presenting a technical guide that I wrote and they published.

If you happen to be in Brussels come and say hello: SIPPO Pavilion - hall 7 | stand 7-1953, as you imagine (being from Switzerland) they are very organised and the free chocolates are excellent :-)