ProColombia: Fish and Chips Now Made With Colombian Tilapia

|May 4|magazine6 min read

MADRID, May 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- In the last two years, Colombian fish exports to the United Kingdom grew exponentially due to the product's high quality and sustainability standards—two important factors for the British consumer.

The cosmopolitan character of traditional British cuisine is one of its main traits. Although the UK's food industry is characterised by a wide variety of imported products from vendors all around the world, some of its culinary traditions and flagship dishes remain deeply rooted in British culture.

Fish and chips is certainly one of them. With approximately 10,500 restaurants specializing in traditional fried fish with French fries, international seafood suppliers can count on continued demand. In fact, two thirds of fish consumed in the United Kingdom is imported.

Now, a new South American player has been gaining ground in the market. Until 2017, fresh fish imports from Colombia were uncommon, and a rather odd concept for English diners. In fact, the only Colombian fish products in the UK market were fish by-products and processed fillets. None, however, were a decisive success for the sector.

This has significantly changed. Aquaculture exports from Colombia to the UK have grown exponentially in the last two years, increasing by 214% from 2018 to 2019—mainly due to tilapia fillets, which increased by 126% in the same period.

Although this growth might be considered newsworthy, it is no coincidence. On the contrary, it is the result of two determining factors in Colombia's fish industry: high standards for product quality and a strong commitment to production sustainability.

These two differentiating elements have allowed Colombian fish to position itself in the United Kingdom's main fish markets—including Billingsgate in London—as well as in supermarkets such as CostCo, which has 29 stores in the country.

Year-round provider

Colombia has several characteristics that make it an ideal supplier to both the aquaculture and fisheries sectors. For example, its diverse hydrobiological organisms, along with suitable land, freshwater, and saltwater bodies all offer great potential for further developing aquaculture.

Additionally, Colombia's unchanging climate allows year-round production in much of the country.

Furthermore, high levels of compliance with government standards—specific criteria for area selection, cultivation systems, fattening and reproduction, and monitoring responsible use of water resources, forests, and lands—guarantee the sector's sustainability, in order to avoid environmental damage and preserve the environment.