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FFAW-Unifor and Processors Announce Landmark Agreement to Create Groundfish Industry Development Council

April 8, 2016

St. John’s — Fish harvester and plant worker representatives joined processors today to announce the Newfoundland and Labrador Groundfish Industry Development Council that will facilitate inter-industry cooperation in the revitalization of the province’s groundfish industry.

“Much has changed in the economy, society and culture of Newfoundland and Labrador in the 25 years since the groundfish moratoriums, which included cod, were first implemented,” said Keith Sullivan, President of FFAW-Unifor. “As the fishery begins another transition period, stakeholders must work together to develop a strategic vision for the future of the groundfish industry.”

The Newfoundland and Labrador Groundfish Industry Development Council (NL-GIDC) will be comprised of equal representation from the harvesting and processing sectors. The harvesting members on the council will be represented by FFAW-Unifor and the processing sector will be represented individuals from various processing companies, including Codroy Seafood Inc., Avalon Ocean Products Inc., Beothic Fish Processors Ltd, Barry Group Inc., and Allans Fisheries Inc.

The groups will work together in the development of collaborative, industry-led solutions to issues that will arise as the fishing industry transitions back to groundfish. The Council will form a united lobby in order to provide advice and input on programs, policies, management plans and other initiatives from the governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador.

The NL-GIDC will produce a “Plate to Ocean” strategic plan to revitalize the province’s groundfish industry. The plan will focus on maximizing the value of NL groundfish products in order to improve the economic viability and the long-term sustainability of owner-operator enterprises, onshore processing plants and coastal communities.

“The return of groundfish will undoubtedly present many challenges and opportunities,” said Bill Barry, Chief Executive Officer of Barry Group Inc. “Investments in the re-tooling of onshore processing plants and the production of prime-quality, high value product will play an important role in the future success of the industry. By working together with other stakeholders, we can attract new investment to the sector and extract maximum value for our product in world markets.”

“We are at a critical juncture in our province’s history,” continued Sullivan. “A revitalized groundfish industry that is sustainable, economically viable and internationally competitive will act as an economic driver for coastal communities across Newfoundland and Labrador.”

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For media inquiries, please contact:

Jessica McCormick, FFAW-Unifor Communications Officer
709-576-7276 (office)