Growing green: the emergent role of non-tilapia attributes in marketing tilapia

Young, J.A., Little, D.C., Watterson, A., Murray, F., Boyd, K. , Leschen, W. and Kodithuwakku, S. (2010) Growing green: the emergent role of non-tilapia attributes in marketing tilapia. Aquaculture: Economics and Management, 14(1), pp. 63-79. (doi: 10.1080/13657300903566886)

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This paper is focused upon the emergent emphasis of environmentally friendly (ENVF) attributes in fish with particular regard to tilapia in the UK. The focus is upon the technical production issues, marketing implications, public health and adoption responses from a 3-year multi-disciplinary Research Councils UK project, which examined the prospects for UK (agricultural) farmers to diversify into production of warmwater tilapia. The proposed production process and product characteristics abound with green credentials, consistent with emergent market demands. This combination might enable small-scale producers to access growing UK niche markets for fresh fish and to compete through upmarket positions with expanding EU tilapia imports. Having ascertained the wider market characteristics, primary research was undertaken through consumer focus groups and in-depth interviews with organizational channel members. The results supported the initial premise of niche markets existing for tilapia produced from local, small-scale environmentally friendly units. Three target groups in the UK were identified: ethnic consumers, green consumers and discrete segments (gastro-pubs and upscale fish restaurants) within foodservice. Having established favorable market prospects the propensity of farmers to diversify into this novel area of activity was explored. Investigation of farmer entrepreneurship, undertaken in 2006 and 2007, explored perceived challenges in the new aquaculture venture. In-depth face to face and telephone interviews with agricultural farmers identified a number of factors that both encouraged and dissuaded them from diversification into tilapia. Despite the ongoing interests of some, and other emergent adopters, the majority seem disinclined to commercialize their interest. The paper concludes that a more holistic support perspective will be required to promote a more favorable reaction and reviews the prognosis for the success of local fish production.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Special Issue: Application of Economics in Stakeholder-Driven Aquaculture Development
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Boyd, Dr Kathleen
Authors: Young, J.A., Little, D.C., Watterson, A., Murray, F., Boyd, K., Leschen, W., and Kodithuwakku, S.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Health Economics and Health Technology Assessment
Journal Name:Aquaculture: Economics and Management
ISSN (Online):1551-8663
Published Online:24 February 2010

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