Strong attendance at Brussels exhibition
‘The exhibition has started very well. There is a steady flow of visitors to our stand and plenty of interest. Export markets are healthy and reliable, with a strong demand for seafood products. There are also some lively meetings being held here and Promote Iceland has already held an important promotional event at the Holiday Inn next to the exhibition to publicise the Icelandic Responsible Fisheries label, with a great many buyers and key industry figures attending,” HB Grandi CEO Eggert Benedikt Gudmundsson said.
We spoke to him in Brussels where he was attending the European Seafood Exposition (ESE), which is held alongside the Seafood Processing Europe (SPE) event. The two events kicked off yesterday and last for three days. This is the best attended and most varied event of its kind in the world, with around 700 companies taking part in the ESE seafood event and a further 200 presenting their equipment and other products at SPE. As in past years, Icelandic companies are prominent at the exhibition and this year 26 are taking part. Promote Iceland has taken the lead in organising participation and this is the 19th time that Icelandic companies promote their products under the banner of a national stand.
HB Grandi has been a regular participant at ESE since 2005 and this is the seventh time that the company has had a presence. Last year the company took a new direction by bringing top chef Thórdur Thrastarson from Akranes to Brussels to prepare a range of seafood-based treats for exhibition visitors to taste. The response was overwhelmingly positive and the decision was taken to hold a repeat performance, this time with Thórdur Thrastarson’s friend and colleague Gunnar H Ólafsson on the stand. Gunnar is the ship’s cook on board HB Grandi’s fresher trawler Sturlaugur H Bödvarsson AK and is taking a trip off to attend the exhibition. Today he is working his culinary magic using mackerel, capelin, cod, saithe and other seafood products.