Submarines are big business in Australia, and they’re also big moneymakers for our food retailers.
They are one of the largest commercial markets for Australian products, accounting for more than 60 per cent of the $5.5 billion market for fresh seafood in Australia.
Submariners are also one of our largest consumers of fresh seafood, accounting to some extent for the huge share of Australian imports of fresh food.
But that share of the market has been growing steadily since 2007, when a huge boom in demand for fresh fish led to huge increases in the volume of fish processed and packaged in Australia’s ports.
“In 2007, the industry saw a massive spike in demand due to an oversupply of fresh fish.
And it’s a pretty good explanation for the massive increase in price of seafood that we see today,” says Andrew Durnin, head of global food sales for Loblaw Companies Canada.
The rise in price reflects a growing trend among Australia’s seafood retailers to cut costs to compete with the Chinese and Japanese, he says.
“We see a lot of that, where they are cutting prices,” he says, adding that the industry also saw a sharp increase in prices in 2013.
“As far as we’re concerned, the Australian seafood industry is in pretty good shape,” he adds.
In 2014, Loblaw was the second largest seafood retailer in Australia with $4.2 billion in revenue, according to research firm Euromonitor International.
It was followed by Loblaw, which has $2.8 billion in sales, and JB Hi-Fi, which was $1.6 billion.
Loblaw has also seen the launch of its first Australian-built submarine, the Submariner.
The submarine will be able to reach speeds of up to 20 knots, and is designed to carry up to 250 tonnes of food.
The sub is set to be the first submersible to reach deep-water waters.
“It’s designed to be able make a lot more than what it is capable of, which is just about anywhere else in the world,” says Durnan.
The new Submarino is scheduled to go into service in 2019.
Lobo’s decision to launch the Submarine Crab is not without precedent, says Dannoy.
“We have a very long history of being an innovative brand in the sub market.
That has to be reflected in our product and in the way we’re going about it,” he tells News24.
Lobbying for a national ban on the import of shark finsThe Loblaw Loblaw company is not the only Australian seafood company to support a national shark fin ban.
The Australian Seafood Association, a national organisation representing seafood companies, says that its members support a shark fin tax to help control shark populations.
“If we really wanted to address the problem, we’d have to have a national cull of shark fin sales and that’s not going to happen,” says association president Peter Deacon.
“The majority of the people who consume shark fins do so because of the shark fin soup industry,” he continues.
“I think we should get on board with that.”
“If we’re looking to make a dent in the shark population, then we should have a shark tax.
If you’re eating shark fin, you should be paying for that,” he explains.
Lombardi says that he has no issue with the industry lobbying for a shark fins ban.
“A lot of companies are concerned about the shark trade,” he admits.
“A lot more people in the industry, if they have an issue with it, then they’re willing to come out and say it.”
He adds that the lobby is an important tool for the industry in lobbying governments, and for the general public.
“In the end, it’s about people making decisions.
There’s a lot that we’re willing, on behalf of our consumers, to do to reduce our reliance on shark fins,” he concludes.