The Rockefeller grant and completed milestones enabled Shellcatch to crystalize a new global hi-Impact small scale fisheries strategy. FrescaPesca, Shellcatch’s new Small Scale Fishery-Direct-to-Consumer plan was born from a unique opportunity brought about by the requested Rockefeller Grant milestones: engaging partners in Chile and Mexico, completing scoping studies in Mexico and Chile, implementing traceability pilots in Mexico and by posting fisher stories on traceability driven web applications.
Scoping studies in Mexico and Chile enabled us to better address never ending supply chain obstacles. Thanks in part to the financial support from this Rockefeller grant we have discovered where we can create the greatest impact with Shellcatch’s technology and supply chain experiences: fresh seafood market. Among the many problems in the seafood space Shellcatch has decided to focus only on the following: 1. Low fish price for fishermen; 2. High end consumer price variability; 3. High number of intermediaries; 4. Disorderly/messy points of sale; 5. No sustainable/ responsible legal verification; 6. Perverse and distorting disconnect between fishing, transport and end consumer demand. These factors produce: a. Poverty and inequality with fishermen and b. Low consumption of fresh seafood. Those who benefit from this situation are: a. Non value adding intermediaries who only leverage their capital and b. Large Companies whose purchasing power enables large volumes and monopoly induced purchasing.
The new value proposition and plan Shellcatch considers going forward are within 5 pillars that define the business model: a. Direct to Consumer. A mobile platform that brings fresh seafood demand with supply bypassing intermediares; 2. Collaborative Demand. Generating aggregated demand from millions of households and restaurants with a collaborative strategy within a direct seafood marketplace. Coordination and Enabling. Facilitating critical commercial supply chain processes in fresh seafood supply chains including Artisanal Fishermen, Seafood Aggregating Facilities and End Consumers. 4. Development and Empowerment of Artisanal Fishermen. Leveraging technology to enable fishermen to have a stronger role in the supply chain and a result greater benefits. and 5. Shellcatch Technology. Seafood origin and legality verification that adds value and gives the confidence needed to enliven the fresh seafood market, creating greater returns to those who most deserve it.
Establishing new sales partnerships was a critical part of the work with the Rockefeller grant. Shellcatch generated a unique model called FrescaPesca which leverages supply chain players in emerging markets. With support from Rockefeller we have piloted the service with over 15 fishing communities with different seafood species in three countries and a variety of client segments and supply chain players: 1. Seafood Distributors: we discovered great diversity between these players, after piloting with many the best partners for deployment are large fresh seafood depots-aggregators and the worst are traditional distributors that target supermarkets; 2. Restaurants. We tested with individual forward thinking restaurant owners and in some cases celebrities (such as Gaston Acurio), nationwide franchises and hotels to smaller mom and pop restaurants and the FrescaPesca results were overwhelmingly positive. The segment that surpassed all our expectations were farmers markets, "ferias libres", where 70% of all fresh seafood is sold en emerging/developing markets. We created a win-win scenario with these critical supply chain players as we collaboratively reach the end consumer through the FrescaPesca app. Initially we thought we would only target hi income level end consumers, but we were also surprised to see that prices were competitive even at low income population segments. Overall we were able to test fishermen higher returns by helping them sell over $US 80 thousand with a price premium of up to 25%.
The newly stated model is extremely scalable, global and high impact because of the following factors: a. Huge demand for seafood products; b. Artisanal fisher supply can reach up to 70% of total national seafood supply; c. Use of collaborative mobile technologies can capture high levels of demand with digitally sourced supply; d. for each country we have ventured into (Mexico, Chile and Peru) we have identified 11 fresh seafood species that have unmet demand. In the end, end consumers want a fresh, healthy, trustworthy product that can be delivered quickly and with an easy payment process. The fresh seafood market could not be farther from what consumers need.