Increasing competitiveness and profitability for Nova Scotia’s lobster industry
For Nova Scotia, the lobster industry is an important contributor to its economy. When research was carried out by Perennia Agriculture and Food Inc. and Value Chain Management International they unearthed the most promising and potentially valuable opportunities to increase the value of Nova Scotian caught lobster.
The research findings highlighted four main priorities for the industry:
- Increasing consumers’ confidence in the quality and consistency of Nova Scotia lobsters
- Improving the perceived convenience of lobsters by removing concerns about how to prepare a whole lobster, the time it takes, or having to kill a live creature
- Promoting the nutritional advantages of lobsters
- Addressing the historic perception that lobster is only for special occasions.
A three-year pilot study (completed in Summer 2016) was then commissioned to implement the changes that would enable Nova Scotia’s lobster industry to both profit from reducing costs and increase consumer awareness of the recognised value for lobster.
Year 1 – Commencement of pilot
- working with fishers and downstream businesses to measure the quality and value of lobsters as they move along the value chain, and developing effective management systems.
Year 2 and 3 – Test of effectiveness
- the pilot then tested the effectiveness of different handling and marketing techniques for improving the quality and value of lobsters in the eyes of the target consumers.
The pilot also tested the effectiveness of traceability systems for enabling fishers and downstream businesses to make more informed decisions. In addition, consumers’ responses to lobsters purchased from participating boats and businesses were gathered through a dedicated website survey. In-store signage informed consumers about the project and encouraged them to provide feedback.
Improvements to quality and consistency across the industry
– with the help of Systems Integration
Integreater ® was a key part of this project and its unique technology allowed users across the production chain to record important information. By logging condition, water temperature and how and when lobsters were getting damaged, trends could be identified to help the whole industry to improve quality and consistency. The most promising and potentially valuable opportunities were The software also proved flexible enough to be used on desktop PCs, laptops, tablets, smart phones and portable handheld devices.