Fresh Seafood – tracing the supply chain
Mita Srinivasan
10x Industry

Fresh Seafood – tracing the supply chain

The current pandemic means that the origins of fresh food is under even more scrutiny than it was a year ago when Seafood Souq started its business. SME10x had a quick chat with Sean Dennis, CEO & Co-Founder at Seafood Souq (SFS) to find out a bit more about their business and why tracing the origin of their seafood is crucial. SFS focus on supplying to the hospitality sector and supermarkets among others.

Has the current global situation impacted your business? How are you helping your vendors and suppliers?

For Seafood Souq, we are poised for our largest stage of growth. As an agile, tech-enabled player within the seafood industry, SFS are uniquely positioned to help in the current situation for two main reasons.

Having many international suppliers across all regions of the globe, we are able to easily pivot around trade route challenges and border restrictions. At a time where certain markets are restricted, our platform provides multiple alternative seafood sources with 89% of international suppliers available on SFS still able to satisfy UAE demand.

Our commitment to food safety allows us to provide full transparency and traceability over the supply chain of our products, which is something people can rely on especially at times like these where they are more conscious of the safety of the source of the food they are eating.

How aware are people of the origins of seafood and how aware should they be when buying/ordering with their suppliers?

During our ongoing market research, we work closely with the Ministry of Food Security as well as other interested parties. We conduct many customer conversations with chefs and procurement managers from small restaurants to meal plan caterers to hotels, and the resounding message was that no information other than the origin country of their seafood products was available. While products like beef would have slightly more information such as grass-fed etc. there was nothing like this available when it came to seafood.

This became our mission to give more visibility and find a tech solution to centralize this information from source to end consumer. Now with SFS Trace, you can learn about the journey of your fish from how it was raised through to harvesting, packaging, processing and its journey to you. 100% traceability.

With seas and oceans being overfished and a drive towards plant-based diets - how will that impact your industry?

With an increasing awareness of our seas and oceans being overfished, it’s clear this is no longer a sustainable way to feed the growing demand of Seafood globally. With this comes an ever-increasing drive towards aquaculture and sustainable fishing practices which we actively support through our actions to increase the transparency of the supply chain.

With our SFS Trace feature, both buyers and end consumers have full visibility on what production methods went into their product and they can discover the journey of their fish which gives them the information to make more responsible and sustainable choices when it comes to sourcing their seafood.

Although there’s been an increase in plant-based diets, Seafood is still one of the world’s largest traded commodities with approximately three billion people in the world rely on both wild-caught and farmed seafood as their primary source of protein. (WWF, 2020) and so we haven’t seen an impact on our business from the increase in this diet.