Emma Davison, Fremantle Octopus General Manager speaks with Georgina Barker about the affects of Coronavirus.
With its major revenue stream coming from the food service sector, Fremantle Octopus was hit hard by the shutdown. It came at a time of huge growth for the 20 year old company in terms of sales and driving new markets.
Through innovations in fishing equipment, Fremantle Octopus has an opportunity to double its catch on an annual basis in the coming 2 to 3 years.
Just a few years ago, the company couldn’t keep up with the demand for its product – an Octopus species that is not caught anywhere else in the world.
With a diet of Rock Lobster, Abalone, and Prawns, this Octopus is a gourmet eater and we all know the saying – you are what you eat.
Emma says it was a scary situation to begin with, but then it became a positive.
Markets had closed but Fremantle Octopus focused on communicating with end users, gaining a better understanding of what markets were willing to pay and having more discussions with fishermen.
“We were able to put our energy into following a path we’d already started on to build a retail presence. We’ve had time to produce information for consumers about nutritional benefits of octopus – zero fat, zero sugars, high in iron, high in protein. We wanter Octopus to be on everyone’s shopping list.”
Product had long been available at several independent retailers but with conversations already underway (pre-coronavirus) with Coles and Woolworths, product hit the Woolworths fridges in May 2020 and will reach Coles in mid-July 2020.
Ales of the company’s marinated Octopus more than doubled the East Coast during shutdown, due to the reduction in price as well as people eating at home.
In the past month, markets have reopened for the company’s premium Octopus, which is again being enjoyed in some of Perth’s top restaurants.
Exports to China, which only started in December 2019, are now about to get underway again.
Discussions are continuing with Japan, and the Asian market in general holds huge potential.
Emma praises the government for its decisions on restrictions and also its assistance. “The government has done all it can for the agri-industry to be sustainable long term.”
From more information on Fremantle Octopus, please visit their website www.fremantleoctopus.com.au
Written by Georgina Barker Photography