Press Releases

Salmon Council Meets with Minister of Agriculture

With the purpose of showcasing their objectives and challenges, the representatives of the recently created Salmon Council – which groups together the largest companies of this field in the country – met on Thursday afternoon with the Minister of Agriculture, Antonio Walker.

The attendees were Sady Delgado, CEO of AquaChile; Fernando Villarroel, CEO of Mowi; Steven Rafferty, CEO of Cermaq, and Pablo Baraona, president of Salmones Aysén.
The members of the association highlighted that these companies represent a third of the world’s salmon production, and that today they are united to strengthen the Chilean industry of the future “with a global and long-term perspective”. They also aim to consolidate the leadership of salmon farming in our country, protecting health and the environment and promoting the competitiveness of the industry.

“One of our priority objectives is to have a common and proactive vision regarding the regulatory framework in our sector. We strive to promote a long-term view for the sector that incorporates security and community aspects, and to share the positive contribution from salmon farming to different sectors within Chilean society,” they stated.
Board members expressed concern about the current crisis facing the industry, following a suspicion of COVID-19 on the surface of a fish cutting board in a Chinese market. Concerns were raised despite the fact that the Chinese authorities ruled out any indication that the contamination was related to salmon.

Minister Walker was told that reports of this nature may cause enormous damage to consumption rates and the image of the country’s salmon farming. In this particular circumstance the Council has had great support from Sernapesca, but it is possible that more comprehensive aid from the government will be required.
The Council also asked for details explaining the new project in which salmon farming would come under the responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture. Specifically, they asked how the sector can count upon the support of the State in crisis situations like the one it faces today.

After the appointment, Minister Walker stressed that “we had a very good discussion about food security” and that he saw “many common issues between the aquaculture and agriculture sectors, such as the production of healthy foods, which stand out for their quality, flavor and condition.”

He added that there are “many areas where we can work together, such as in the development of good relationships with international markets and being part of a sustainable food sector” as promoted in the new Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development.

The Council expressed that it aspires to contribute to the competitive and sustainable development of Chilean salmon farming and to be a benchmark for innovation, with full adherence to current regulations, free competition rules and respect for its workers and the communities where they carry out their operations.

Finally, the association made a commitment to the Minister to promote the best business, production, health, environmental and regulatory practices. All this, with the conviction that a long-term approach to make this industry more competitive and sustainable is key for Chile to consolidate its position as the world leader in salmon production.