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Cod Price Negotiation Statement

May 18, 2021

May 18, 2021 – The Standing Fish Price Setting Panel released its decision on cod prices for 2021 today, and it accepted the position of ASP.

The price for Grade “A” cod this Spring is $0.73, and for the Fall it will be $0.80.

FFAW-Unifor’s position is that this is a terrible decision. It is premised on misrepresentations given by ASP at the Panel hearing. By accepting the ASP position, the Panel has certainly lowered the bar for what is an acceptable argument for setting the price for fish.

In 2019, the export price was $3.54 per pound. On that basis, the Panel accepted the position of ASP in 2020. In 2021, the export price was $3.97 per pound and the ASP position this year, a rollover of last year’s price, was selected.

The price this year is not fair. We know that there are a lot of harvesters dependent on cod and, unfortunately, they will have to fish at this price due to the lack of competition in our processing sector. Seeking a reconsideration in cod will be a challenge given the nature of the market information. A reconsideration not likely be before mid-Summer, which is when more market information for NL cod will be available.

To be clear, your Union knows that this is a bad price that will only enrich processors at the expense of harvesters. It is up to each individual harvester to decide whether to fish or not, but it is important that our members understand the Union’s perspective on a price. ASP often states that the right price is one that the harvester will fish for and the processor will buy for. FFAW completely disagrees with this perspective.