Prince Edward Island Fishermen's Assoc.

 ALBERTON -- In selecting a feed of lobsters from his catch, Brian Locke admits he doesn’t take home any that might have a claw missing, or display any other physical damage.

He doesn’t think any other consumer would want a damaged lobster either.

The Alberton Harbour captain of the Locke Haven knows lobster fishermen and other players in the lobster industry shares that view.

“We, as fishermen, buyers, processors - all down the line - I think everybody is doing a better job than we used to, years ago (at delivering a quality product),” Locke suggested.

He is pleased that the new Canadian Lobster Brand that the Lobster Council of Canada has rolled out places emphasis on the quality product fishermen deliver.

“I think everybody is getting more conscious of that,” he said.

Locke expressed confidence in the brand’s promise to: “consistently and sustainably deliver the highest-quality and most flavourful live and processed lobster to consumers who value the best,” will win favour in the global marketplace.”

“Anything we can do to promote our product, the better,” Locke said as he took a break from loading lobster traps onto his boat Wednesday.

The Canadian lobster brand was launched internally in March during the lobster summit in Halifax where it was well received by key industry stakeholders, noted Geoff Irvine, executive director of the LCC. The brand’s European launch will come in early May, during the Seafood Expo Global in Brussels

It comes at the right time, Irvine said of the Canadian Lobster Brand. “So much is happening in the sector now with increased cooperation and collaboration amongst key stakeholders as well as enhanced market opportunities opening up with the both the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with Europe and the Canada Korea Free Trade Agreement. This new brand is going to help the industry internally to come together and celebrate the values which unite us, and to position lobster more effectively in the increasingly competitive global food industry.”

Jeff Malloy, CEO of Acadians Fishermen’s Co-op and president of the LCC, described Canada as a world leader in lobster harvesting, processing and live shipping but, due to its size and fragmented structure, he said the industry has not told a consistent story to the world.

He said the strong new brand is going to help position Canadian lobster, already worth approximately $1.7 billion to the Canadian economy, for future growth and long-term sustainability for coastal communities.

“Our research revealed that globally Canadians are viewed as being genuine and this integrity is also associated with our lobster which is harvested by traditional methods in the wild environment of the North Atlantic by a community that is united by pride and passion for the product,” said Irvine. He noted the strengths and 12 core values identified in the Canadian brand range from Canada’s rigourous food safety guidelines to Canada’s cold, pristine natural environment.

FACT BOX

Love our Lobster

Increasing awareness and demand for Prince Edward Island’s top quality lobster is the goal of the province’s annual Love our Lobster campaign.

More than 1,200 fishermen are involved in the lobster fishery. Last year, more than 28 million pounds of lobster were landed. The Island lobster industry has an economic value in excess of $185 million.

The Department of Fisheries is partnering with local retail outlets across the province to promote the sale of Island lobster. Anyone buying Island lobster at participating retail outlets will receive a ballot for a chance to win the grand prize, a private lobster dinner party. Various other prizes are also available.Love our Lobster will run from May 2 to June 25.

Online: www.gov.pe.ca/loveourlobster

http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/Business/2014-05-04/article-3709527/Quality-takes-front-seat-in-Canadian-Lobster-Brand/1

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