McCurdy Urges Review of Newfoundland Crab Marketing

May 12, 2009, 9:19 AM EST

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CAW/FFAW President Earle McCurdy wants Newfoundland crab processors to decide if they are going to be in business this year.

McCurdy, in a May 8 press release, said the Association of Seafood Producers (ASP) needs to "stop dreaming about an outdated price-to-market formula and lowball raw material prices."

A provincial panel with the power to set fish prices in the province, when the union and processors can't reach agreement, issued a decision May 7 in which they rejected a request by the ASP to further cut raw material prices for crab.

McCurdy said ASP's proposal if accepted by the panel, would have led to an immediate tie-up of the fishery.

"The processors must be smoking something if they think harvesters can fish crab for $1.12 a pound. And as for that so-called formula, that was creating instability in the market and downward pressure on market prices," McCurdy said.

Processors voted against a Newfoundland and Labrador Seafood Marketing Council, turning their backs on about $5 million in government funding to promote seafood products and were not interested in inventory financing to help get through a tough economic year.

"What I would support is an inquiry into the entire crab fishery," said McCurdy. "The important thing to look at is how we market our product, not the raw material price setting model."


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