COVID-19 Financial assistance helping to turn the tide – Need your input please!

It has been one month since the State Government officially approved the Western Australian seafood industry’s financial assistance package and as we slowly emerge from this crisis we are starting to see some optimism and more energy emerging across commercial fishing sectors.

The early signs of market interest and the relaxing of regional boundaries will come as a great relief for many businesses working across multiple locations and across domestic and export markets.

WAFIC has received some anecdotal feedback that indicates the assistance measures have provided the cashflow support industry was hoping for and this has provided critical help for businesses to stabilise. However, we are well aware there are also a number of members who continue to struggle due to external pressures associated with market and freight access, labour issues and environmental and resource issues.

Air freight has provided relief for some fishing sectors, however many exporters are still finding it cost prohibitive due to significantly increased air freight cost coupled with limited access to air freight capacity.

The retail and food service sectors are another major challenge for producers of hospitality-bound seafood product, however there also seems to be some upside in that area with cafes and restaurants developing takeaway and delivery options and soon having a limited capacity for table service. These are small steps, but they are pointing in the right direction and support a staged return to more normal trading in the coming weeks.

As we work towards preparing our industry for the ‘new normal’ it is important that the seafood industry keeps WAFIC informed on both their progress and inevitable stumbling blocks, as well as wins and lessons learned, as we continue to work through the COVID-19 recovery. Early feedback is essential for quick remedies and will allow us to apply influence and pressure where it is needed to facilitate financial recovery, employment and reconnection with markets.

We need your input! Please take a few minutes to complete WAFIC’s online survey.  The survey should take 2-3 minutes and has a field for any additional comments at the end.

Click here to open the survey.

If you have additional comments to share, please contact WAFIC via 08 9432 7777, or email communications@wafic.org.au with some dot points and your details so we can get back to you by email or phone.

We look forward to receiving your comments, and of course a personal chat is always most welcome.  Please feel free to contact me directly.

Warm regards

Alex Ogg

Chief Executive Officer