Summerside Lobster Festival
SUMMERSIDE — Go Lobster, a unique initiative of the Summerside Lobster Festival, has a two-pronged goal — promote Island lobster and city restaurants.
Eighteen restaurants across Summerside will be taking part in the event, which will run from July 1 to 31 featuring 18 different lobster dishes, each costing less than $18.
Ian MacPherson, executive director of the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association, said campaigns like Go Lobster will benefit the industry.
“We’re really fortunate to have such passionate people working on our behalf in the industry,” he said. “Certainly we have lots of challenges in our industry right now. It just seems we get some issues resolved and then other issues emerge.
“In the past, we haven’t had a great track record in working together as an industry. And that’s all parts — it’s the harvesters, the buyers, the processors, the food service people and sometimes even with our federal and provincial governments, but that’s changing,” added MacPherson.
However, he noted that with challenges come opportunities, like the new Go Lobster campaign.
“For us to be effective as an industry it will take more marketing and promotion by all the industry players to tell the world what a great product we have,” he said. “We tend to think we are just competing with lobster from other areas, which we are Nova Scotia, Maine and New Brunswick. However, we are competing against other proteins as well, chicken, beef and other seafood. That’s the reality of it.”
MacPherson said there is a changing demographic in Canada not only in terms of diversity but also in terms of migration to urban centres.
“As this change occurs, programs such as Go Lobster not only expose consumers to new and exciting ways to eat lobster, they also get our local restaurants more involved in promoting P.E.I. lobster,” he said. “We are seeing new and more convenient products being developed to address the needs of the changing consumer base. It’s important that we broaden our base.
“Initiatives such as this are an example of how the industry players can come together to support a common focus,” MacPherson said. “Many of us in the industry know it will take work in a number of areas to get our industry back on track . . . This is another positive start.”
For more information on Go Lobster go to the website at www.golobster.ca.