The Lobster Summit held in October 2007 recognized the value and importance of the lobster industry to Atlantic Canada, and provided a clear mandate to establish a mechanism to address key issues identified in both the earlier lobster benchmarking study and the Summit. These key issues include:
- Obtaining a better understanding of the lobster industry in Atlantic Canada, determining whether there are steps governments and industry could take to enhance the value of the resource and identify any possible trade policy concerns.
- Collaboration with all stakeholders to tackle key issues and devise pilot projects to demonstrate workability and success
- Management for sustainability including collaboration between DFO and stakeholders on enforcement issues
- Becoming pro-active on issues such as emerging market challenges pertaining to sustainability, global warming, fair trade, food safety, animal rights, and eco-labelling.
- Exploring market opportunities to reduce dependency upon the U.S. market.
- Improvement of the product’s market profile and pursuance of new marketing development initiatives, including increased consumer awareness, improved market intelligence and live market supply timing.
- Create a stakeholder organization to move forward key issues.
The mandate of the Lobster Council of Canada shall be to enhance the value of the Canadian Lobster Sector in a sustainable fashion by addressing the issues of importance to the industry. The organization will aim to:
- Focus discussion and action around identified industry challenges and set goals and targets that, if achieved, will strengthen the sector’s competitive position and enhance Canada’s overall capacity to meet the changing demands of markets.
- Lead market access issues including but not limited to sustainability certification, food safety, traceability requirements, etc.
- Lead sustained marketing initiatives regionally, nationally and internationally promoting all segments of the Canadian lobster industry with sound market research and market intelligence.
- Lead industry/government relations and create a shared understanding of key challenges and opportunities facing the sector.
- Communicate internally to industry to create improved awareness of the key issues, challenges and opportunities facing the industry and to build trust and confidence.
- Communicate externally to customers by highlighting the positive attributes of lobster to further build the Canadian “brand” through promotional and educational campaign’s to “tell our story”.
- Facilitate efforts to improve returns to the industry through innovation and the identification and implementation of changes that will improve the overall value-chain.