Founder, Pacific Rich Resources
Though fishing has been in his family for generations, Chris’s interest in the state of the oceans was piqued when he re-connected with a banker-turned-oyster farmer friend. As he learnt more of the decline in the UK’s fishing industry, Chris followed his forebears by setting up a seafood business, but one where seafood would only be sourced responsibly. A fairly unique concept in Hong Kong.
One of the biggest hurdles Chris has experienced is the on-going misconception that sustainable seafood is far more expensive than non-sustainable. In fact, the actual cost of his sustainable product is much the same as for non-sustainable product. Whereas there are some costs to being accredited and carrying an accreditation which should be considered as a marketing cost, not part of the actual cost.
Today, more people are appreciating this distinction, and Chris is responding to steadily increasing demand. Chris considers this as the reward for choosing right, pushing and leading the change. It is not uncommon to hear those in the industry say how hard it is to source/sell sustainable seafood, but Chris has a slightly different take on that. Reason? He chooses to deal with like-minded and progressive companies whom he calls the real movers and leaders, because they understand that there may not be a cost benefit but they must push the standards. Their belief is that being p[progressive companies, it is their duty to educate the public in sustainability, and part of that education is enforcing/pushing the use of responsibly sourced products in their market segments, and ensuring that their suppliers can support the notion fully with relevant supporting documentation.
Chris remains optimistic that we are moving in the right direction. The demand for sustainable seafood has been growing and will always be huge particularly in Hong Kong. In addition to existing sustainable products such as his best-selling Greenland halibut and Atlantic cod, he is working to start a new product line that is much more Asian-flavoured and includes seafood such as groupers, seabass and snappers.