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August 1, 2019

A Global marketplace for all

Sophie Hunter-James
Director – SFS Trace

Fish & fish products are some of the most traded food items in the world today;

with the UAE leading regional per capita seafood consumption at 24kg per year — 5kg higher than the global average.

While the GCC fishing industry produces 392,000 tonnes of fish per year, it’s forecasted that by 2030 fish consumption in the UAE alone is predicted to cross the 900,000-tonne mark — which makes it clear why Seafood imports hold such an importance to the UAE.

Many of the sought after Seafood products in the UAE are from the top exporters such as China, Norway, Scotland, Sri Lanka, Tunisia and other international seafood hotspots — which is why the Seafood industry in the region is overdue for a fully inclusive marketplace where all sellers and buyers can transact.

A ‘one-stop shop’ that gives sellers the opportunity to open up new channels to current and new clients, and buyers the ability to order all products from their choice of producer, processor or distributor all in one place.

According to the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, the UAE imports 70 percent of its whole seafood.

For buyers in the UAE i.e. restaurants, hotels etc. purchasing imported Seafood, a highly perishable item comes with a complex set of obstacles to navigate which Seafood Souq aims to address.

The Process — A ‘one-stop shop’

There are many issues with communication and coordination that come with international trade.

From speaking to the people in charge of ordering in Dubai from chefs to procurement managers, the resounding theme was that multiple lines of communication are used for multiple Sellers that can supply the varying products they require. This of course takes time and resources. Seafood Souq aims to alleviate the scattering of ordering this way and provide one central portal for purchases to be made, tracked and managed, for all products, all seller types and all buyers with the tools to buy and discover products 24/7.

QA — SFS Quality Guarantee

Quality assurance is one of the most integral parts to successfully importing Seafood. For Seafood producers this means that their product arrives in its optimum form, while for Buyers (Restaurants, hotels etc.) this means they receive a fresh product with maximum shelf life — or in the case of lobster, crab and other live products, seafood that has suffered zero mortality in transit. Something that can be assured with a carefully controlled cold chain from Sea to B. Seafood Souq has focused greatly on creating a higher than industry standard quality control strategy that is enforced and measured from start to finish throughout the chain for ‘SFS direct’ products (products ordered direct from producers). This has brought us to the creation of some industry first intellectual property/standards for shelf life prediction and calculation. What Seafood Souq also provides is varying degrees of these procedures to re-sellers and most importantly a platform for them to show their buyers the high standard to which they import their products.

Traceability — SFS Trace

International travel of goods often involves many outsourced links in the supply chain, which is where errors can be made. A supply chain controlled and monitored by one entity lends to 100% traceability by implementing a full trackable supply chain. With awareness of traceability issues many buyers have been inclined in recent years to purchase Seafood locally rather than internationally.This is great for the local market, but in the UAE where supply does not meet demand there needs to be other options.

Seafood Souq wants to give buyers the opportunity to purchase international products with 100% guarantee of the product being traceable to its origin and delivered direct from source with all “SFS direct” stamped products. But what we also want is to give a platform for all seller types to provide these documents and encourage more visibility across the industry.

It’s predicted that the UAE will continue to be one of the largest consumers of seafood as far ahead as 2030

Seafood Souq started with the aim to solve multiple pain points that both local buyers, local distributors, sellers and international sellers have been facing for years when it comes to selling and purchasing international products.

An open, free and transparent marketplace is what we have created and are incredibly excited with the interest we are already seeing from multiple seller and buyer types on-boarding as we speak.

If you want to learn more about our inclusive marketplace check out

Sophie Hunter-James
Director – SFS Trace

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