Many seafood retailers, wholesalers and importers have approached the applicant over the past year for information on aggregate retail sales, main species for in home and out of home consumption and consumer attitudes to various key factors. However we have had to refer people to the National Seafood Consumption Study report of 1992 and the Sydney retail sale and consumption study of 1999. This is an unsatisfactory situation for the industry and government agencies to be in as there have been many changes in Melbourne since 1991 and the Sydney study of 1999 has limited value for those interested in today’s Melbourne scene.
Up to date market and consumer information is also needed to underpin the various industry and species R & D plans and strategies listed on the FRDC website and to provide reliable trade information (qualitative and quantitative) for government agencies and committees developing fisheries and aquaculture management plans.
Given the many changes in eating habits and the business environment (food supply and demand, including aquaculture species) over the past decade there is a need for detailed up to date reliable information on the retail trade and consumption of seafood in Melbourne to to guide the whole supply chain, including fishers and farmers, on consumer wants and attitudes.
The changes in the ethnic mix of retailers and greater use of imported species by these retailers and their customers also warrant research. Industry could also use the data to make better use of the under-utilised species as well as the better known species. There is a growing need to examine consumer attitudes to aquaculture species, animal welfare, food safety, environmental issues and ecolabelling (which are all gaining more media attention each day) and their impact on the seafood trade.