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Responsible artisanal fishing organizations from Nuquí receive cooks from Bogotá to jointly celebrate an exchange of knowledge.

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Nuquí, Chocó, Colombia.
October 05, 2021

Last week, two of the partner organizations of the EcoGourmet program, ASPACP and PESCAMAR, received three cooks from Bogotá in Nuqui, Colombian Pacific. Nicole Muñoz from Albacora, a responsible fishing marketing venture, and Andrés Callejas and Santiago Abaunza from Grupo Halita, an open kitchen restaurant.

 

The purpose of the gathering was to share the experiences of fisherfolk, marketers and cooks, key players in the value chain of artisanal fishing, in the process of marketing fishery products. To this goal, an analysis was made of the different stages that the organizations have had to go through to achieve this, the challenges faced by each of them to obtain a product of excellent quality and the alternatives that exist to enhance the use of the resources. 

The exchange began with a diagnosis of the past, present and future of the organizations within the framework of the participatory strengthening process of the EcoGourmet program. A past full of difficulties due to lack of infrastructure, technical training and teamwork to achieve a common good, which did not allow them to see beyond their daily work and kept them restricted to local sales. A present that does not cease to have challenges to overcome but that has allowed them to begin to see themselves as profitable enterprises that aim to improve the quality of life of their members, and even of their communities, with defined roles and responsibilities, expectations of national marketing and a strong commitment to good fishing and manufacturing practices.  And a future full of opportunities, focused on fair and equitable trade, where different strategies are implemented to promote the marketing of value-added products on a stable basis throughout the year. A future that allows them to dream of taking their products to many Colombian restaurants and homes and, why not, to make their products known outside the country.

After this exercise, a role exchange dynamic was developed between the fishermen and the guest chefs, which allowed them to analyze the task of one actor from the perspective of the other. In this way, the commercial partners evidenced the difficulties in the dynamics of capture and the obstacles and costs of the logistics of shipping fish products, but also the immense wisdom and commitment of the organizations. On the other hand, the fishermen understood the importance of the role played by commercial partners as facilitators of the commercial operation and the demands that a product requires to be considered of excellent quality.  A wonderful space for understanding and collaboration that will undoubtedly bring benefits to all.

Finally, a practical session was conducted by our guests, in which Nicole, Santiago and Andrés taught them different techniques of transformation, conservation and use of fishery products, aimed at generating added value and optimizing their operation. This, together with the cost analysis of these alternatives, becomes a motivation for the organizations, which are already very enthusiastic about the achievements reached so far. 

The experience lived by the cooks allowed them to work as a team with the organizations in their territory, to surround themselves and understand the local context of the fishermen, as well as to listen to their stories and the dreams they share. This helped them to understand the difficulty of the processes along the entire fishing value chain for Nuqui's organizations. In the same way, the artisanal fishing organizations reflected on the positive perception that originates in the commercial allies when working with good fishing practices and committing to comply with the sustainability criteria promoted by the EcoGourmet program.

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Fotos por Nicole Muñoz y Tatiana Meneses

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