Like in other countries, entrepreneurs and businesses in the Netherlands are being affected by the coronavirus pandemic, and ASC certified producer Kingfish Zeeland is one of those adapting and using novel methods to continue their business.
By Dennis Wittmann, ASC Outreach Manager Germany, Austria, Switzerland
As we all know, the measures taken to restrict the spread of coronavirus globally mean significant loss of turnover for many businesses: supply chains are disrupted, most shops and restaurants cannot open, and there are no big events requiring food service and catering.
The seafood industry has experienced all of these impacts, and the loss of income can’t be countered by simply reducing running costs. Animals need to be fed, water quality must be regularly measured to ensure the wellbeing of the animals, and farming equipment must be tested and kept safe. Most importantly, farming provides a livelihood for millions of workers and seafood remains a vital source of healthy protein: people still want and need to buy sustainable seafood.
Using Social Media to reach customers
Kingfish Zeeland are an ASC certified producer of Seriola – also known as Yellowtail or Kingfish. Based in Zeeland, the Netherlands, they were the first producer in the country to become ASC certified for their land-based farm. They have been particularly affected by the lockdown because they mostly supplied the hospitality and restaurant industry. In response, they have called out to their social media community and now provide healthy and responsibly farmed Yellowtail directly to local consumers.
A good deal of ASC staff work in Utrecht, the Netherlands, where our headquarters are located, and we don’t just love driving up standards in fish production, we also love cooking and eating it – not to mention supporting responsible producers. So this seemed like too good an opportunity to miss, and a short message in our local ASC WhatsApp group was all it took for colleagues to mobilize families and friends. Before long we had two orders ready, one for colleagues in Deventer (a city in the east of the country) and one for the ASC staff in Utrecht.
Farm to fork in one day
But now the logistic question came up. The Netherlands is not a big country, but it still takes about one and a half hours to get from Utrecht to Zierikzee, where Kingfish sells the fish, and as we all know, traveling should be restricted to a minimum. However, we didn’t have to worry: Janneke van der Linde, sales and marketing manager at Kingfish told us they send the fish well packed with cooling packs. Fantastic! We ordered and the fish arrived the next day – from farm to fork, super fresh, sashimi quality! We coordinated, prepared disinfection material for the door handles and the ASC staff came one by one to pick up the fish. Where there is a will there is a way!
We’re not trying to pat ourselves on the back with this short story (the delicious fish was its own reward), but hope to inspire you to support your local businesses if you can. We daily see wonderful examples of solidarity around the globe and despite the social distancing the pandemic can actually make us grow closer than before.
How can you help?
Don’t know how to prepare Yellowtail but keen to try it? Check out the photos of the ASC staff for some inspiration for Ceviche or simple battered and fried yellowtail – either way it is a tasty treat. If you feel like trying Yellowtail contact Janneke van der Linde.
And if you’re supporting your local seafood producer, or you’re an ASC farmer, distributor or other stakeholder adapting to the new circumstances and want to let us know please do get in touch with us on Facebook or Twitter.