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March 12, 2020

Reducing Seafood Carbon Footprint & Wastage

Sophie Hunter-James
Director – SFS Trace

We were honored to be a part of a select few to present at ‘The Future of Sustainable Tourism’ workshop at the end of February.

This event was hosted in line with the United Arab Emirates’ Vision 2021 and Dubai Tourism’s 2025 Strategy; here we shared our innovative and tech smart solutions to help reduce Carbon footprint and wastage of Seafood in the UAE.

Sheikh Fahim Al Qasimi Co-founder & Chairman of Seafood Souq presenting at The Future of Sustainable Tourism Workshop

Dubai is already the largest seafood consumer per capita globally, being a favourite food group for the health conscious and with an ever growing tourism market feeding this demand also; it’s forecast that by 2030 fish consumption in the UAE will cross the 900,000-tonne barrier. With this increased consumption we see increased wastage and carbon footprint of this food source so it’s something that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.

We estimate over 10 million kgs (10,063,560kg’s) of fresh seafood is imported by 4 and 5 star hotels in Dubai alone. Locally aquaculture is growing in the UAE however, it’s still not enough to satisfy the ever increasing demand for seafood and the more niche products that hotels and restaurants require.

If our maths is correct the Co2 derived from the seafood imports of 4 and 5 star hotels alone produces nearly 50 million kgs (48,959,259kgs) of Co2 — we estimate it would take 63,647 acres of forest to sequester this amount of Co2 — that’s a lot of trees!

So how can we reduce wastage in this industry?

Wastage is something we were very conscious of from day one at Seafood Souq and one of the key factors involved in our decision to create an online marketplace and a more efficient supply chain; to reduce wastage and environmental impact.

A more efficient supply chain.
With Seafood being a highly perishable product and traditionally moved through a long and complex supply chain, it’s no surprise the wastage figures are so high.

According to the FAO, 1 in 3 fish caught never even makes it to the plate.

This led us to partnering with Emirates Skycargo to give businesses a way to order Seafood direct from source; removing the middle-man and the unnecessary steps in the chain — shrinking the distance from sea to plate.

“SkyCargo believes in working with the next generation of innovators and has a long history of breaking new ground. We are happy to support Seafood Souq with their airfreight requirements as they launch their own innovative solution to the market.”

By transporting direct from Producer to Buyer this reduces energy utilized and the resulting emissions (i.e. to keep a refrigerated warehouse functioning) in the traditional supply chain where seafood is stored by an intermediary.

This provides a fresher, more sustainable and 100% traceable product, where the entire supply chain is controlled and monitored by one entity — Seafood Souq.

We utilise technology to not only make the supply chain more efficient but we also monitor the entire chain from Sea to B. This means the temperature of the fish are measured by us throughout the entire journey to ensure zero spoilage, and all of this data is collected and centralised to translate it directly to the end buyer and consumer; giving them the opportunity to discover the story of their seafood and have complete transparency on the food they are eating, see SFS Trace.

Through innovation and technology we are now providing the Dubai market with a traceable product that has a reduced environmental impact and we’re pretty proud of being able to deliver a live product direct from the USA to Dubai — we’ve now successfully delivered multiple times Maine Coast Lobster to Dubai within 24 hours, 100% live = zero wastage.

We‘re very excited to be working closely with Dubai Tourism and Government bodies sharing the same vision to continue innovating and utilising the efficiencies technology brings to provide more sustainable, traceable seafood to the UAE.

Sophie Hunter-James
Director – SFS Trace

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