Interview: Liz Plizga, group vice president for Diversified Communications, producer of Seafood Expo Global/Seafood Processing Global.



1-ISN:  Can you tell us about the history of this event.?

Seafood Expo Global/Seafood Processing Global, formerly known as the European Seafood Exposition/Seafood Processing Europe, is the world’s largest seafood trade event.


Seafood Expo Global  was launched in April 1993 as a result of requests from European customers who attended our exposition in Boston (Seafood Expo North America/Seafood Processing North America, which was then known as the International Boston Seafood Show/Seafood Processing America) and who wanted to have a seafood specific event in Europe.


Seafood Processing Global, formerly Seafood Processing Europe, was launched seventeen years ago in response to the growing number of attendees in the equipment, technology and services sector who wanted an exposition hall devoted exclusively to the seafood processing industry. Products and services exhibited included transportation and logistics services, processing equipment, packaging supplies and equipment, refrigeration and freezing equipment and supplies as well as products used in quality assurance.


The exposition has grown throughout the years to become the most important global event for the seafood industry. The 2015 event was a record breaking year, the edition was the largest Seafood Expo Global/Seafood Processing Global to date and  exhibit space expanded into a new hall in response to companies’ growing demand to participate in the three-day event.

2- What are the foundations of Seafood Expo and Sea food processing management strategy?

The strategy behind our seafood expositions is to offer a platform for all seafood professionals involved in the seafood supply chain.  Creating opportunities to connect buyers with suppliers and customer service are among our main concerns.


3- In the last event can you brief us on the number/type/ activities of the exhibitors and visitors?

We were very pleased with this year’s exposition’s strong performance. Thousands of buyers and seafood professionals from around the globe attended the event to meet with suppliers, see new products, evaluate trends and discover what’s new in the seafood industry.


This year’s exposition showcased 1,761 exhibiting companies from 72 countries occupying 36,063 square meters of combined exhibit space.  It also hosted 66 national and regional pavilions. Seafood Expo Global/Seafood Processing Global drew more than 26,652 seafood professionals and attending buyers included supermarkets, retailers, importers, exporters, wholesalers, seafood processors, commercial fishing, hotels and other retail and foodservice companies.


4- Were they any other events organised in  in the same time as the last show, like conferences/Debates/ awards etc?

This year marked the 15th anniversary celebration of Seafood Prix d’Elite. The Seafood Prix d’Elite new products competition recognizes the best new seafood products of the year developed for the European market. 37 finalists representing 11 countries were selected this year and the winners were announced at the Seafood Prix d’Elite Awards Reception on the first evening of the exposition.


The top award for best new retail product was given to Salmon Brands of Oslo, Norway for its entry, Salmaraw.


Salmaraw from Salmon Brands was also presented the Seafood Prix d’Elite special award for Originality for its salmon sashimi kit in a long tray. The Seafood Prix d’Elite special prize for Health & Nutrition was awarded to Marine Harvest of Brugge, Belgium for its product, Duo Norvégien au Four. The Big Prawn Company of Melton Constable, England in the United Kingdom was awarded the Seafood Prix d’Elite special award for Convenience for its product Seafood Rarebit. In addition, The Big Prawn Company was also presented the Seafood Prix d’Elite special award for Retail Packaging for its product, 2 Crayfish Thermidor Bakes. Finally, Rockabill Shellfish Limited of Balbriggan, Ireland was presented with the Seafood Prix d’Elite special award for Seafood Product Line for its “Something Fishy” line of seafood infused butters.

5-What is the vision of the sea food industries in medium and long terms


It has been reported that global seafood consumption has been steadily on the rise for decades, with variations across continents, countries and regions. According to a 2014 report by the Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO), world fish production has experienced tremendous growth, increasing from 20 million tonnes in 1950 to 156.2 million tonnes in 2012, of which 97 percent was used for direct human consumption.  Per capita fish consumption increased from 9.9kg in 1960 to 19.1kg in 2012. The report indicates that according to OECD–FAO (2013) projections, the trend is likely to continue with world fish production reaching 181 million tonnes by 2022.


The seafood expositions are viewed as a reflection of the state of the industry and the growth of our events is a positive indication on the state and health of the seafood industry.


6- What are the challenges ahead for this events

Growing our seafood portfolio of expositions annually in terms of exhibits and visitor attendance is always at the forefront of our minds. With that said, our events in Brussels, Boston and Hong Kong have continuously increased over the years.


Challenges we might be faced with can include responding to factors that are beyond our control (like the Iceland volcano eruption in 2010 which disrupted air travel).  Our focus for our events is to provide seafood professionals with all the tools they need to conduct business and bring qualified buyers to the events.