Project number: 2013-237
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $87,500.00
Principal Investigator: Tom S. Robinson
Organisation: Goolwa Pipi Harvesters Association Inc
Project start/end date: 22 May 2014 - 21 Oct 2014


This project is needed to provide the market information necessary to support industry’s submission to PIRSA Fisheries for the annual Total Allowable Commercial Catch (TACC) decision making exercise in May 2014.

The 2013-14 TACC was increased from 400 tonnes to 450 tonnes on the basis of expanding market opportunities. However, unless the new market opportunities are actually identified, it is expected the TACC will be reduced back to 400 tonnes next year.

Moreover, potential TACC increases of up to 600 tonnes cannot be allocated under the fishery harvest strategy economic decision rules, unless the proposed market research is undertaken and economic assessment demonstrates improved aggregate returns from this pipi resource.

In short, the opportunity cost of not undertaking this research is up to 200 tonnes per annum (almost $2 million per annum at first sale) or 50% TACC increase, as of June 2014.

An early start to the project is needed to provide the preliminary market information necessary for industry members’ careful consideration before the TACC meeting in May.

According to Ruello & Associates consultant’s study a year ago: The Coorong pipi industry is small and fragmented and continuation with loose chilled pipis and bait products is most likely to lead to industry stagnation or its “going backwards” in real terms. “There is now the potential to increase the value of the industry as a whole, moving away from the traditional sale of loose, commodity-type product to smarter, value added packaged products with longer, stable shelf lives and optimum quality and safety”. Inaction will mean South Australia forgoes potential economic growth from prospective catch quota increases, according to the study.


1. 1. Undertake desk research and trade interviews with pre-selected food service and retail users in selected domestic, Asian and EU markets to assess current and prospective demand and indicative prices for packaged pipis and the competitive environment for clam products.
2. 2.Identify trade preferences regarding product form (frozen, pasteurized or MAP etc), pack size and type, and desirable labelling requirements for the target markets. Develop the necessary text and design combinations for packs, printed promotional collateral and web site content.
3. 3. Identify and document regulatory requirements and test selected product packs and materials against identified food safety and trade specifications.
4. 4. Draft a market entry strategy for selected markets and products.

Final report

ISBN: 978-0-646-93660-4
Author: Tom Robinson
Final Report • 2015-06-01 • 6.41 MB


The present project was initiated to identify the trade preferences for packaged pipi products, particularly chilled Modified Atmosphere Packs (MAP), trade and regulatory requirements, prospective demand and indicative prices to underpin the development of a market entry strategy for the selected products in domestic and overseas markets.

Data was collected using trade interviews, field and trade studies and desk research.

Results from the project include opinions and preferences on pipis from a diverse selection of wholesale and retail seafood sellers, food retailers and supermarket chains, chefs and food writers.

Field studies and desk research identified a widespread lack of understanding of pipis as a seafood category particularly as to how they should be stored and handled at home or in retail or food service businesses to maximize shelf life. Confusion and uncertainty about the various names on pipis and other bivalve molluscs referred to as vongole, cockles or clams were other market impediments that would need to be overcome with tailored messages on packaging and on promotion collaterals such as Point Of Sale leaflets and web sites.

After evaluation of all information from trade studies and desk research, the prospective demand for chilled MAP pipis within Australia was estimated at 30 to 40 tonnes in year one at an indicative price of $12.50 to $13 per kilogram in Store for Sydney wholesalers. These outcomes are likely with traditional selling practices and minimal investment in promotion, but likely sales would be about 50-60 tonnes or more with modest investment in market promotion.

A market entry strategy has been developed to build new marketing channels reaching new consumers, particularly specialist fine food stores, lapsed pipi users and people currently using chilled New Zealand clams. This strategy does not rely on sales through existing market channels to current retail, restaurant and home users of loose pipis.

Limited field work and face to face discussions with prospective pipi importers and trade users in Hong Kong and Singapore indicated little interest in MAP pipis given Australian costs and the prevailing strong value of the Australian dollar but there is some encouraging interest in a bulk pack of frozen pipis, subject to meeting customer specifications and pricing requirements.

The market entry strategy proposed for prospective overseas markets essentially follows the same themes and marketing principles outlined for domestic markets: quality assured products tailored to the needs of the particular customer’s specifications for product quality and packing, at mutually agreeable prices and a promotional program for product launch and ongoing trade support.

Keywords: Pipis, marketing channels, sales, trading preferences, Industry

Final Report • 2015-06-01 • 1.21 MB
Logifish supplementary report.pdf


The purpose of this project was to build upon work started in 2010 to improve and validate a modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) pouch approach for extending the shelf life of live Goolwa cockles, Donax deltoides (Pipi), for the Goolwa Pipi Harvesters Association.

The successful evolution of the MAP cockles from tray packs to pouches with excellent shelf life and more efficient processing protocol has helped position the Goolwa Pipi Harvesters Association quota holders to launch a new Pipi product in the domestic and export marketplace.

Related research


SeSAFE – Delivering Industry Safety through Electronic Learning

1. INFORM, via an independent review, the design and application of user-pay funding models in Australian primary industries, the potential for a similar model to be introduced by SeSAFE in the fishing and aquaculture industry, and steps recommended to realise this outcome.
Smart Fishing Consulting