Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Sardines at Douarnenez, a unique place of sale

The Basse Gouach disembarking his fishing, Sunday evening, in Douarnenez

Since the beginning of January, all the sardines landed at Concarneau, Saint-Guénolé and Douarnenez are sold in one place, the auction of Rosmeur. With 90% of online purchases, this trial heads in the direction of a virtualization of the sales. It could be expanded to other species and fleets.

VesselTracker's AIS shows an identical fishing pattern to that of the Cornish sardine boats.

The sardine is abundant in the Bay of Douarnenez. At the beginning of the year, the sardine fleet went out every evening to go behind the Cape of the Goat or to the point of Tréfeuntec, for a few well-provided shots. Very early in the night, fishermen can send their input estimates. Buyers know quickly the amounts to put on sale in the morning. That off Douarnenez concentrates all their attention.

"Avoiding price differences"

Since January 3rd, it has centralized all the sardines landed in Cornouaille, which do not go directly to the Makfroid company. "This winter, the association of sardines and the producers' organization wanted to promote a systematic auction, which we know how to do: I thought we could test a unique selling point, to avoid price differentials between ports, "said Christophe Hamel, director of auctions at the Quimper Chamber of Commerce. 

At Concarneau and Saint-Guénolé, once the shots are landed and the actual quantities known, the information is transmitted to the Rosmeur auction. "By fax, for now, until one day we had a common database, evolving in real time," says Christophe Hamel.

At 6:30 am, José Salaün, responsible for the auction of Douarnenez, can start the sale, rather fast. Only a few buyers are physically present: 90% of purchases are now made via the internet. No need to see the fish so much are the characteristics of the Douarnenist sardine, Bigoudene or Concarnoise well known. "That's why the sardine lent itself to this unique sales experience: it's a flotilla concentrated on a single product, quality, everyone in front of his screen knows what to bid for," adds Christophe Hamel.

One sales team

The test conducted during this winter campaign goes in the direction of a "virtualization of sales", in his eyes, inevitable. It allows a smoothing of the price (around 60 cents per kilo currently) between the ports: with sales spread over several sites, therefore not taking place at the same time, the courses could be different. For the ICC, it is also a way of putting only one sales team moving in the morning, instead of three. Simplified organization, lower costs ... the temptation to expand the experience to other products and other fleets may exist. "We started on the species that is easiest to group, the reflection is, of course, conducted on other fisheries, but it is more complex, we are dependent on the technical tools," summarizes the director of auctions.

Meanwhile, the single sale of sardines may well see its late hour. That of 6:30 am is judged a little late, especially since the ships land early in the night. The buyers want to be able to work the fish as quickly as possible. At several levels, the world of fishing is a world that is accelerating.

Full story from Le Télégramme here: