SA seafood makes the grade at some of France’s finest restaurants

Posted by James Ferre on 29th June 2009

South Australian Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, Paul Caica, last week announced the signing of an historic agreement with the French chapter of Europe’s association of top chefs: Euro-Toques International.

“This is a very exciting opportunity, which will see South Australia’s aquaculture industry receive unique access to the world’s biggest seafood market,” he said. “Euro-Toques International counts amongst its members the world’s most influential chefs from some of Europe’s finest hotels, including the Ritz in Paris.”

“Our agreement with them will ensure that South Australian seafood is showcased on the menus of more than 400 French chefs.”

South Australia is the first state in Australia to receive an endorsement from the prestigious association.

“Euro-Toques’ French chefs are renowned for their commitment to quality ingredients and their endorsement of South Australia’s finest seafood is expected to create an all-market ‘pull’ across the whole European market,” Mr Caica added. “It will also pave the way for partnering agreements for chef training, and European visits to South Australia to strengthen trade relationships between suppliers and chefs.”

Jointly funded by industry and the SA Government, the $140,000 market development program will also see SA’s seafood products promoted at a number of international trade events throughout the year.

A preliminary agreement with Euro-Toques (French chapter) was first signed in 2008 and South Australia’s aquaculture industry has achieved significant growth since that time.

“New figures just to hand reveal there was a 25% jump in the value of production in our aquaculture by the end of the 2007/08 financial year,” Mr Caica reported.

“The South Australian aquaculture industry is now employing 3,000 South Australians, it’s generating $264 million annually in farm gate value, and on top of that a further $71 million in processing and food service, plus $322 million in flow on benefits.”

Clean Seas Tuna Limited Chairman, Hagen Stehr, said the agreement between South Australia and Euro-Toques France is an extraordinary opportunity for this State’s aquaculture industry to reach the world’s biggest seafood market: the European Union.

“Europe represents the single, largest aquaculture export destination, providing us with extraordinary access to the best food opinion leaders and connoisseurs from across the world,” he noted. “The Euro-Toques agreement gives us vital access to the European Union, which is worth more than $40 million per year to our aquaculture industry.”

“This agreement will give the SA industry the momentum to continue our multi-million dollar export growth in Europe and anchor ourselves as world leaders in sustainable seafood production.”