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Explaining the Mismatch Between the Norwegian Salted Cod Value Chain and the Spanish Fish Market

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Nordic-Iberian Cod Value Chains

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Spain has a long tradition of salted fish consumption. Norwegian salted cod enjoyed a good reputation in Spain for its regular supply and traditional taste. Nevertheless, between 1978 and 1986, Spain lost access to cod fishing grounds in the North Atlantic and importation turned out to be the only way to feed Europe’s second largest per capita consumption market for salted fish products. Norway became its main cod supplier until the late 1990s. However, the Norwegian salted cod industry has failed to keep this strategic market because its leading actors have not renegotiated a new definition of quality attuned to the current patterns of fish consumption in Spain.

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  1. 1.

    The theoretical framework has been developed with the support of the research grant “Governance, conventions and innovation in the wine districts of Castile and Leon: typology and prospective of Designations of Origin based on the theory of worlds of production”, funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (ref. CSO2008−05793-C03−01/GEOG) and the Regional Government of Castile and Leon (ref. SA080A08) for the period 2008–2011. The salted-fish case study is based on the research project “The Spanish salted-fish market and opportunities for the Norwegians” (2008–2011), funded by the Norwegian Research Council (ref. 185126/I10).

  2. 2.

    Seafood Norway’s Spanish branch office launched in 2010 a marketing campaign focused on restaurants. The distinctive qualities of ‘Traditional Norwegian Cod’ are highlighted in a promotional video clip, labels and brochures. This recent shift implicitly acknowledges that such a topic has been quite neglected up to date.


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Correspondence to José Luis Sánchez-Hernández .

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Sánchez-Hernández, J. (2015). Explaining the Mismatch Between the Norwegian Salted Cod Value Chain and the Spanish Fish Market. In: Lindkvist, K., Trondsen, T. (eds) Nordic-Iberian Cod Value Chains. MARE Publication Series, vol 8. Springer, Cham.

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