Germany's fish fair 25 - 27 February 2024


The fish international is the only trade fair for fish and seafood in Germany - a platform for the trade and the gastronomy. In Bremen, the trade finds out about new products on the German market and gets an overview of innovations and developments.
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Sustainability in the corporate DNA

Sustainability in the corporate DNA

Petra Weigl expands Regal Springs' market presence in Germany
First came organic, now it's sustainability. Consumers are increasingly linking issues such as environmental protection and working conditions with their food purchasing decisions. On the supplier side, Petra Weigl, as Managing Director of Regal Springs Europe GmbH, can sit back and relax: "We live the principle as a matter of course, because we have done nothing else from the beginning. With fish farms exclusively in natural and reservoir lakes in Indonesia, Honduras and Mexico, Regal Springs concentrates on the breeding and processing of tilapia, which is brought to market whole or frozen as fillets. The company was founded in Indonesia more than 30 years ago and has followed sustainability principles since the beginning: "This shapes everything we do," Petra Weigl underlines. In the USA, the company is the market leader. Now Regal Springs is expanding its market presence in Germany, which it began in 2015 - the participation in fish international is an important step in this process.

"Tilapia is the ideal product even for consumers who are wary of fish.“
Tilapia in Germany is still a long way from its importance in the USA. There, it ranks first among white fish in consumer favor. From her many years of experience as a manager in large companies with a wide range of frozen fish products, Petra Weigl sees good opportunities to initiate a similar success story in Germany: "Tilapia's versatility, taste and consistency make it the ideal product, even for consumers who tend to be reluctant when it comes to fish." Tender in the flesh, not "fishy" in taste, easy to prepare and versatile in use - "these are already very good arguments," Petra Weigl is convinced.

"Farmed fish is the most environmentally friendly source of protein"
Within a short time, the topic of sustainability has become another good argument. Unlike some of its competitors, Regal Springs comes with the right story right from the start. When Petra Weigl tells it, it resonates not only with professional commitment but also with personal enthusiasm. "Sustainable fish farming is essential for supplying protein to people around the world," she says, "there's no other way to meet the protein needs of the world's ever-growing population."  The expert is convinced that there is another argument in favor of sustainable aquacultures: "Farmed fish is an environmentally friendly source of protein." The manager is aware that environmentalists have question marks over this. That's why she formulates a condition: "Such facilities must be responsibly designed and operated."

World's largest tilapia producer with 5000 direct and 21,000 indirect employees
At Regal Springs, corresponding concepts date back to the 1980s and the Indonesian provincial town of Wunut. At the time, the founder established a fish farm there as a sustainable source of employment and income for the people. The lowest possible impact on the environment and the greatest possible benefit for the region - the company has remained true to these goals as the world's largest tilapia producer in the meantime, with around 5,000 direct and 21,000 indirect employees. In all three production countries, the aquacultures are set up in natural waters, using a maximum of one percent of the available water area there. The fish move around in large floating net cages in an almost natural free space. They are fed a predominantly plant-based diet. Water quality and compliance with environmental standards are monitored in the company's own laboratories, by independent third parties and by the authorities at the respective location.

Producing without fish waste - "we use almost everything".
Regal Springs markets its sustainable tilapia frozen as whole fish as well as hand-cut fillets and back fillets. "There is virtually no fish waste for this with us, we use almost everything," Petra Weigl emphasizes. What is otherwise usually thrown away or processed into fish meal is processed even further at Regal Springs customers - for example, the scales are a basic product for the production of wood substitutes, and the fish skins are processed into collagen or gelatin.  In addition, social, health and educational programs for the local population as well as investments in infrastructure and environmental protection are part of the company's self-image. Despite a change in consumer awareness, environmental protection and social conscience alone cannot sell fish in Germany, and even the name Tilapia is not yet associated with a natural, high-quality product. Regal Springs has reacted to this: "We now consciously market our products as tilapia," explains the managing director. Communicating it is part of the recipe for success.

"mission female" is committed to women and living diversity
Petra Weigl takes this to heart not only when it comes to fish, but also in her private life. As a member of the "mission female" network, she is also committed to increasing the visibility of women and to diversity in practice. "In the fishing industry, much more has already been done internationally than is perceived in Germany," she says, "and that's why we simply have to talk about it more." At fish international, there is a good opportunity to do so.

 

Sustainability in the corporate DNA

fish international…

  • gives traders a platform where they can gain information on what's new in the German market and get a good overview of the fish industry.
  • offers a varied and individual assortment of fish to give traders ideas for achieving better market positioning.
  • presents a concentrated display of machines and technical aids and appliances for SMEs.
  • shows a broad spectrum of counter concepts for fishmongers and mobile fishmongers that is only to be found in Bremen.
  • gives you time to talk to other fish industry members so you can discuss ways to perfect your everyday work.

fish international – that is over 10,000 sqm of exhibition space for more than 320 exhibitors from 27 nations. Experts from the fish industry, wholesale, retail and gastronomy visit the fish fair to find suppliers, inform themselves and to exchange ideas.

gastro iventGASTRO IVENT, which usually takes place in parallel, will now be organised in January 28-30, 2023 as a Special Edition separately from fish international. In 2024, we plan to return together again.