One of our dear members and Team Norway partners are the Norwegian Seafood Council. Our collaboration over the past years has just expanded and it is now time for you to get to know the person responsible for the Councils UK operations 😎
Hi Victoria,thank you for making time in a hectic time to have a chat with us. Please tell us a bit about yourself!
I am Victoria Braathen, and I currently oversee the Norwegian Seafood Council’s (NSC) UK Operations. I accepted the position last Autumn, and I’m truly enjoying being in the UK and working together with Norwegian exporters and local partners to develop the UK market for Norwegian seafood. Before coming to the UK, I was part of NSC’s Nordic team heading up our market access work, and prior to that I was stationed in Shanghai, China. The seafood industry is a truly global trade, and it is a privilege to be able to promote and support one of Norway’s largest exports across markets.
17 May in Southwark Park during this year’s celebration, where Defence Minister, Bjørn Arild Gram alongside the Norwegian Ambassador to the UK, Wegger Chr. Strømmen came by for a taste of delicious Norwegian cod & chips.
What is the role of the Norwegian Seafood Council in the UK?
The NSC works together with, and on behalf of, Norwegian seafood exporters and local partners to develop markets for Norwegian seafood. We achieve this through market insight, marketing, PR, and communication. NSC has been present in the UK – one of the top markets for Norwegian seafood – since 2012. The UK is especially important for our whitefish species. At the same time, salmon is Norway’s top export species to the UK. You find a significant share of Norwegian cod and haddock in the UK, served in fish & chips and wider hospitality as well as grocery retail.
With reference to the seafood industry, what are your thoughts on the relationship between Norway and the UK going forward?
Norway and the UK are strong seafood partners. Both countries are proud ocean nations, and we share the need to work together to make sure that our seafood is farmed and caught sustainably and delivered to the market in the best possible way, meeting consumers’ demands and needs.
What are some of the important issues for us all to consider now and in the coming years, in terms of global cooperation? How do you see this cooperation evolving as we move into a more environmentally focused era?
We live in a complex, and in many ways unpredictable time. Sustainability continues to be key from an environmental and nutritional point of view, and seafood has an important role in the future food system. Our knowledge related to sustainable practices is improving by the day and the need to have agreements in place between countries is important to us all. But also, consumers’ behaviour is developing at pace. Shoppers find seafood in new sales channels and for new occasions. Major trends such as convenience, health, and wellness drive consumption and increase demand. On our side, this means that we need to be transparent and ambitious when it comes to sourcing, transportation, and production. We also need to promote and present our seafood in new and attractive ways.
Norway-UK Seafood Summit 2023, with bilateral updates from the Norwegian Minister for Fisheries and Ocean Policy, Bjørnar Selnes Skjæran, and the UK Minister for Food, Farming, and Fisheries, Rt Hon Mark Spencer, on how the two countries are working together, with joint efforts to further strengthen and develop seafood trade and relations – particularly with sustainability in mind.
What role does Team Norway have in promoting and enhancing the relationship between the UK and Norway?
Team Norway plays a valuable role in creating meeting places where we can jointly promote Norwegian business and opportunities. It also represents a useful arena for updates and the sharing of experiences across different Norwegian industries. This is especially true when it comes to hosting events aimed at showcasing best practices and solutions, and participating in expos where we join forces, which holds extra value.
If you were stranded on a desert island and could only bring three items, what would they be?
Number one. Not a thing, but a person. My husband. Second and third, a knife and fire matches. Assuming there would be fish in the surrounding waters to catch and enjoy!
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned recently?
I am constantly learning more about the UK market. On 2nd June we celebrated the National Fish & Chip Day in London. There are over 10,000 fish & chip shops in the UK and many of these serve Norwegian cod and haddock in their fish & chips.
Which song can you not get out of your mind these days?
Love on Top, by Beyonce. Such a great song!
What plans do you have for the summer?
Exploring the UK and travelling to northern Norway for relaxing family days being outdoors, hiking, and fishing. And, of course, lots of delicious seafood.
It sure sounds lovely! Have a fantastic summer and we are looking forward to further cooperation with you!