Fish farming supplier FiiZK is optimistic as countries emerge from the shadow of the Covid pandemic, as they look to expand and build relationships now that they are able to travel once again to growing markets.
Speaking to SalmonBusiness at the Aquaculture UK event in Aviemore, FiiZK’s Chief Marketing Officer, Jan Kevin Skarholt, acknowledged the multiple challenges facing the industry but looked forward with optimism, as it becomes easier to engage with clients and customers.
Returning to a connected world
With travel restrictions and border closures hampering industries around the world, including the aquaculture sector, FiiZK is looking to target existing markets, such as Chile, Iceland, Norway and Scotland, as well as growing into new potential areas.
“Maybe Australia. Russia is a bit out of the question at the moment, with the regulations and the position we have taken in that situation. But it’s fair to say that maybe in the future Russia will be a market again.”
“The Russian agriculture industry is growing and they have good natural conditions for being able to produce salmon but it’s not an option at the moment for us to be a part of that.”
External challenges are still a concern
While Covid is now less of an impact, there are other external factors that are limiting companies, with the war in Ukraine and supply chain disruptions hampering development.
“Up until Ukraine, our main issue was getting hold of tarps because it’s been difficult finding fabric softener to soften the tarps. So, our suppliers haven’t been able to get hold of fabric softeners and, hence, they haven’t been able to produce the tarps.”
While FiiZK has been able to weather those challenges and “deliver as promised” up until now, the rising price of steel has become a concern, as there were contacts and agreements made prior the sudden spike in the metal cost. “The prices have been a bigger issue than the suppliers so far,” Skarholt admited.
Meeting new colleagues
The Aquaculture UK event in Aviemore wasn’t just a chance for FiiZK to meet other companies within the industry, it was a chance for them to meet their Scotland office for the first time.
“For us, it’s maybe a special situation because we established our first office in Scotland and had our first employee based in Scotland one and a half years ago,” Skarholt said.
“We haven’t been able to capitalize on this because of the COVID situation, or not as much as we would have liked at least, so for getting this opportunity to meet and greet is important to us.”
FiiZK’s past stretches back more than 150 years. Back in January, FiiZK and Ecomerden announced a merger, bringing together two of the leading companies working on semi-closed cage systems. The companies hoped that the merger will help them to push forward with developments to enable fish farming, while reducing the risk of diseases, such as sea lice.