One of the four main aims of Axis 4 is to “add value to fisheries and aquaculture products” (Article 43.2a). In fact, the weight of fisheries organisations on many Fisheries Local Action Groups has meant that the measure for adding value to fisheries products (Article 44.1d) has become one of the most important parts of local strategies.
Most local projects for adding value to fisheries products try to close the gap between fishing and consumers and to improve vertical links between actors at different points on the fisheries supply chain. However, in designing these actions, FLAGs have to realise that they are not operating alone. In particular, they need to maximise synergy with investments in processing and marketing being supported under Axis 2 of the EFF (Article 35) and the measures to develop new markets and promotional campaigns, collective and pilot actions of Axis 3 (Articles 37, 40 and 41).
The actions supported by FLAGs themselves should generally concentrate on innovative solutions, targeted at the economic and environmental sustainability of small enterprises and fisheries - which can be taken up on a larger scale if they are successful.
For example, the measure supported by FLAGs can involve:
- Innovations in processing. New quality products. Improvements to old products
- Innovations in marketing and distribution. Collective marketing and shorter circuits. Labels of origin and ecolabels
- Innovations in the applications of information technology. Internet selling. Traceability…
There is a rich history of activity in this field outside Axis 4 of the EFF. Some of this experience can provide inspiration for the FLAGs will be covered in this part of the website.
Due to the importance of this theme within FLAG strategies it will be the subject of a transnational seminar and technical guide in 2010.