Friday, March 19, 2010

Sea of insanity

Let’s see if I have this straight: High Liner Foods — the Lunenburg, N.S.-based seafood company — achieved some of the best financial results in its 110-year history in 2009.

According to The Globe and Mail, profits rose almost 40 per cent to $20-million on sales of $627-million.

A good part of that success can be traced to High Liner’s decision to purchase the marketing arm of the once strong NL fish company, Fishery Products International, in 2007.

That’s the same marketing arm that Premier Danny Williams offered on two occasions to buy in 2006.

Actually, Williams offered to partner with industry to purchase the marketing arm.

Industry — more specifically, the Fish, Food and Allied Workers’ union — turned him down.

Turned him down flat.

The province is now looking to restructure the fishery under an MOU signed with fish processors and the fishermen’s union.

And what will be a key component of that restructuring?

A marketing arm.

That’s the insanity of the fishing industry.

Which is suffering from a desperate lack of leadership at the government, union and trade levels.

Desperate.

Oh, and how did the NL fishery do last year?

The industry had a total value of $827 million, down almost 22 per cent over 2008.

The insanity has to stop.

And the first step is a judicial inquiry.

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