The limits of virtue signalling are clear. Wake up.
In idealist terms, the answer to the headline is no.
But in reality, you never know. Despite the industry’s solid foundations, it’s still vulnerable to the issues of disease, sea lice and market fluctuations, as it is evident from the price dip in the era of Covid-19.
This is a mere example of how fragile the market is and that profits could be dried up within weeks to months, in case of a “Black swan” event. Negative coverage from the media causes additional misery.
So the question is where will the growth come from?
As I mentioned in my last opinion article about my account of a failed land-based salmon farm. I think people understand which way things are going when it comes to growth in the land-based fish farming sector.
Isn’t it time to wake up?
In my opinion, there is a much-ignored issue which nobody talks about. And that is the lack of connection between the end consumers and the fish farmers. Despite so much hard work by salmon farmers, retailers are the ones which control the public’s narrative.
There are many things to learn from the recent surge of marketing by alternate ingredient suppliers and alternate seafood substitutes. Within a short time span of a few years, these companies have rolled in and have taken over the imagery of sustainability.
It is hard to deny that this is all power of marketing and storytelling, which is winning the hearts and minds of customers. Whether they are doing right or wrong, this is not the issue here.
End consumer or investors do not understand the full picture of the industry. They buy the story and they do not have the time to fact-check. So isn’t it time for fish farmers and feed suppliers to wake up from the slumber, take notice of new realities and make decesions accordingly?
Virtue signalling is ignoring end consumers
If you may have observed, the story of sustainability which I have talked about in previous opinion articles, is one of the most understood messages by end consumers and investors.
In my opinion, the fish farming industry and fish feed industry spend a lot on resources in an effort to please each other, which is virtue signalling. They should instead seriously consider how end-consumers understand the value of safe and healthy fish.
So please come out of this peer to peer marketing mindset and look at the reality. Growth will not happen by just telling each other within the industry how sustainable you are.