If we don’t show leadership on sustainability, we will be left behind says Young’s parent-company boss

Editorial Staff

“‘I work in the food sector,’ isn’t the most exciting thing to tell people at a dinner party.” But sustainability should be something to get excited about says Sofina exec. 

“We are all being bombarded about sustainability and the role we need to play in that agenda, but why do we need to create a more sustainable food system?” asked Sofina Foods Europe CEO Ash Amirahmadi, speaking at the North Atlantic Seafood Forum on Wednesday.

“We need to work out how to feed the growing world population, and we have to figure out how to do that without destroying the planet,” said the Sofina CEO. “There is a huge gap between what food we produce today, and what we require. We don’t actually know how to solve that problem.”

Sofina is the parent company of Grimsby seafood processing giant Young’s.

Around 20% of Sofina’s sales are branded, with 80% private label sales. Sofina buys more than 125 species of seafood, and employs 13,000 people. The company has a £4 billion global turnover and has 48 farming and production sites.

Speaking as a newcomer to the seafood industry Amirahmadi shared some reflections on the sustainability issue.

“It can feel like it as an agenda happening to us, its overwhelming, but it is better to lead than to be led. If we don’t show leadership we will be left behind as a sector,” said Amirahmadi.

“What people are looking for is solutions. The uncomfortable question is who is going to pay for it? In the end the consumer will pay the cost. Industrial means will have to be part of the solution. The money is in the data, the action plans and the proof points. What is interesting is that within this room we have control of all three. Put that together and we have a hugely exciting future.”


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