SmartFish: sustainable marine products for consumers, better daily lives for fishermen
SmartFish is a social enterprise that sells sustainably sourced, caught and processed marine products sourced from artisanal fishing cooperatives in Mexico. These organisations, certified as sustainable fisheries or actively seeking to fish sustainably, are paid higher-than-usual prices for their catch, which means they earn more fishing less. SmartFish also helps them achieve better quality and processing standards, so they can sell their products to better markets.
80% of marine species in Mexico are overexploited, while at the same time 40% of artisanal fishermen live in poverty. Positioning itself as Mexico’s first fully sustainable marine products company, SmartFish offers consumers fish and shellfish that preserve the country´s marine ecosystems while breaking the cycle of workers’ exploitation and poverty.
To date, SmartFish has been able to create over thirty jobs and directly benefits around 650 people in six communities. The social enterprise also works to improve the marine value chain. Reducing the number of intermediaries between the fishing cooperatives and the end consumer negotiates prices directly with the cooperatives. Favouring an open book policy, the company promotes transparency and secures higher profit margins for the fishermen.
While Smart Fish has been able to steadily expand its market and impact, by participating in the Mexico Accelerator the social enterprise will address several bottlenecks that are slowing down further growth.
The Smart Fish team will use the Mexico Accelerator masterclasses, mentoring and coaching by IKEA coworkers to develop their knowledge and skills in branding and storytelling. During the programme, they will work to increase online sales to consumers and businesses, so that more fishing cooperatives can benefit from their sustainable business model.