On 27 January 2023, the members of the Market Advisory Council (MAC) appointed a new Chair, Vice-Chairs, Chairs of Working Groups, and Executive Committee for the 2023-2026 period.
Ms Yobana Bermúdez, candidate proposed by AIPCE (European Fish Processors Association), was consensually appointed Chair. Ms Bermúdez has more than 20 years of experience in the food industry and is currently the General Director of Conxemar (Spanish Association of Wholesalers, Importers, Manufacturers and Exporters of Fish products and Aquaculture).
The new Chair stated: “I am thankful to my predecessor, Mr Guus Pastoor, whose legacy will be an inspiration for me, for his extraordinary work. Presently, the MAC is an exemplary organisation that counts on a very competent and dedicated Secretariat. The variety in the membership, representing the entire fisheries and aquaculture chain as well as other interest groups, brings great value to this Advisory Council, which I will be pleased to chair. As such, I am also thankful to all members for their support and for their continuous effort to reach consensual positions, which help to develop our sector and to strengthen the EU markets”.
Dr Christine Absil, candidate proposed by the Dutch NGO Good Fish Foundation, was reappointed Vice-Chair on behalf of the Other Interest Groups of the membership. In 2004, Dr Absil initiated the Good Fish Guide to increase consumer awareness on seafood sustainability and currently works as an independent consultant.
Mr Julien Lamothe, candidate proposed by EAPO (European Association of Fish Producers Organisations) was appointed Vice-Chair on behalf of the sector membership. Mr Lamothe was also appointed Chair of Working Group 1 (EU Production). The new Vice-Chair has extensive experience in the fishing industry, having held various positions of responsibility within French producer organisations. He is currently Director at FROM Sud-Ouest and Secretary General of the ANOP, the national association of producer organisations.
Mr Pierre Commère, candidate proposed by AIPCE, was reappointed Chair of Working Group 2 (EU Markets). Since 1994, Mr Commère has been active in French and European fish processing sectors as Delegate General for the Fish Processing Industry within ADEPALE, one of the main professional federations of the food industry in France. He is also Vice-President of AIPCE and Secretary of the General Assembly of EUROTHON (European Tropical Tuna Trade and Industry Committee).
Mr Benoît Thomassen, candidate proposed by FEAP (Federation of European Aquaculture Producers), was reappointed Chair of Working Group 3 (EU Control and Sanitary Issues, Consumer Rules). Mr Thomassen is an Agriculture Account Manager in a Belgian financial institution and a freelance consultant for ThomAqua, a consultancy specialised in aquaculture and caviar matters. He is Chairman of the Sturgeon Commission of FEAP and was, until recently, a representative for the Walloon aquaculture sector in the Economic, Social and Environmental Council of Wallonia.
As determined by the Common Fisheries Policy Regulation, the Executive Committee is based on designations from the sector organisations and from the other interest groups. The following composition was appointed:
|Value Supply Chain|
|Primary Producers (Catching)|
|Les Pêcheurs de Bretagne|
|Primary Producers (Aquaculture)|
|Processors, traders, suppliers and retailers|
|Workers (Trade Unions)|
|Other Interest Groups|
From left to right: Mr Benoît Thomassen, Dr Christine Absil, Ms Yobana Bermúdez, Mr Julien Lamothe, Mr Pierre Commère