Veronica Papacosta hails Australian public for supporting local seafood produce

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Seafood Industry Australia (SIA) have hailed the Australian public for supporting domestic seafood produce following import tariffs imposed by China.

Releasing December’s sales data, SIA recorded a 30 percent growth compared with the same trading period in 2019. In a press statement, SIA CEO Veronica Papacosta said that the bump in sales during Christmas holidays was made possible through the support of the Australians to the industry.

“It’s no secret 2020 was a hard year for the Australian seafood industry,” SIA CEO Veronica Papacosta said.

Woolworths confirmed the $20 western rock lobster promotion had ended. Photo: Getty Images

“We needed a bumper Christmas period to help us claw our way back. We called on the community to support us and switch one meal on the Christmas table to Australian seafood, and we are beyond thrilled to report they did just that.”

Lobster became a popular produce option for families in the Christmas period, with supermarkets offering $20 western rock lobster promotions. According to The Daily Telegraph, Woolworths’ rock lobster sales were 20 times higher in 2020 Christmas trading compared with 2019 figures for the same period.

“It’s encouraging to see so many Aussies supporting their local seafood producers and we hope this continues,” Papacosta said.

“Australian prawns, rock oysters, crabs, and [lobsters] were the most popular this season, with Australian rock lobsters finding a very welcome home as a table centerpiece.”

Photo: Seafood Industry Australia

Papacosta continued to add that while the SIA experienced great domestic growth during the Christmas period, Chinese tariffs are continuing to harm the industry.

The SIA is calling on the Australian public to dedicate “one meal a week” to buying locally sourced seafood.

“If just 1 per cent of the population committed to changing one meal a week to locally sourced Australian seafood like prawns, salmon or snapper, that would be more than 250,000 meals per week of Australian seafood on tables around the country,” Ms Papacosta said.

“This could mean the difference between a fisher making or missing a mortgage payment and a boat heading out of harbour or spending another week docked.”

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