PR 96/24 - FAO OPENS NEW FISH MARKETING INFORMATION CENTER


PR 96/24

FAO OPENS NEW FISH MARKETING INFORMATION CENTER TO AID FISH TRADE IN EASTERN EUROPE

Rome, June 14 -- The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Danish Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries signed an agreement today creating EASTFISH, the first fish marketing and information service designed to assist Central and Eastern European countries. The agreement was signed in Copenhagen by FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf and Danish Agriculture Minister Henrik Dam Kristensen.

Headquartered in Copenhagen, the $3.5 million Danish government- funded project will assist Central and Eastern European countries with the complex problems of fishing industries in transition as they compete in the market place with Western and developing world fisheries. EASTFISH will provide a source for marketing information, as well as managerial expertise, particularly in the field of business procedures, price and cost calculations and in the preparation of investment proposals, feasibility studies and business plans.

EASTFISH, which will be operational from July 1, 1996, joins the FAO network of fish marketing information services providing information and advice on markets and supplies, processing and quality issues that impact on global fishing industries.

Some areas where EASTFISH will provide immediate assistance, include:

  • a canning factory in one of Baltic States which must prepare a business plan and feasibilty study to secure financing for much needed machinery, particularly packaging equipment.
  • a coldstorage distribution centre in Moscow which is looking for a suitable exporter of whitefish;
  • in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, an oversupply of carp from aquaculture, which is causing serious price decreases, has the three countries looking for alternative markets such as the EU.

The FAO-managed project will operate for a preparatory phase of 10 months and is assured of further funding for two years to cover the costs of a small staff. Eventually, EASTFISH is expected to become an independent intergovernmental organization financed by its member countries and from funds raised by its services.

The project is part of FAO's on-going effort to increase worldwide food security through, among other things, the sustainable management of fisheries. A World Food Summit will convene at FAO Headquarters in Rome, 13-17 November 1996. Global Fisheries will be one of many food security issues on the Summit agenda.