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The innovation in this app lies in allowing consumers to make a seafood order (on Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays) that will be fished specifically for them by local fishermen. This app basically creates a “link” between consumers in Monterrey, Nuevo León, México and producers and fishermen in Ensenada, Baja California. It is a win-win situation, given the fact that seafood distributors often pay much less to fishermen and consumers will get fresh fish ready to be picked up a few days after being ordered, at the Black Market restaurant located in Rio Amazonas in Centrito, in San Pedro Garza García, in Nuevo León, México.
Upon entering the app, consumers can select which products they want to order. This can vary depending on the season, type of product ordered, where the fishing is taking place and many other factors. This project also supports marine life, because they only fish what is ordered and don't overfish or exploit the sea. The products offered vary from wild fish from the ocean and fish from farms that are carefully planned and settled inside the ocean so that fish and sea wildlife live in their own habitat.
Amor A Mar is inspired from the need to create awareness of responsible food consumption, food distribution, and stable working conditions for fisherman. This will lead to efficient resource administration.
Owner Daniel Valles' inspiration initially came when the Black Market restaurant opened and he wanted to differentiate from the competition with unique ingredients and demonstrating more sustainable ways of consuming seafood by using all parts of the fish. Later, this uniqueness expanded to the seafood origins, the impact he could make to the fishermen from Baja California, food consumption patterns, and the distribution process. “Both things run together, Black Market restaurant and Amor a Mar. One couldn’t exist without the other," Valles noted.
The impact is very positive, and it varies depending on how it is analyzed.
● Impact to the local fishing community in Ensenada. With this new application, the local fishermen community gets paid much better than what they receive from distributors ("middlemen"). Consumers in Monterrey using the app get much higher quality and fresher fish than they would in the supermarket. The fish is caught and flown in to Monterrey from an order they placed a couple of days earlier. It is a win-win situation.
● Impact on exploited supply chain. Given the dynamics of this app, no mass fishing and sea exploitation occurs. Around 85% of global fish stocks are either over exploited, depleted, fully exploited or in recovery from exploitation. Catches in the tropics are expected to decline 40% by 2050, and yet some 400 million people in Africa and Southeast Asia rely on fish caught to provide their protein and minerals. With climate change expected to impact agricultural production, people are going to rely more than ever on fish for their nutritional needs (Vince, BBC, 2012). This model will help stop the decline.
● Impact on consumers' conscience. A big change in consumers' lifestyle is taking place. Before, they would go and buy fish in the supermarket without knowing where it came from, when it was fished, and what kinds of chemicals were used as preservatives. Now, consumers can order exactly what they will be consuming and know the details of their catch.
Black Market restaurant and Amor a Mar are doing an excellent job differentiating from competitors. The Black Market restaurant has been in business for nine years offering customers delicious seafood dishes and educating consumers on using all parts of the fish and having less waste. The business benefit is to provide a model that promotes high-quality food linked with consumption awareness. The restaurant has a nice environment where people can enjoy delicious food, while the app is easy to use, well designed and includes different payment methods which help sales. "Not only can you have fish on your table," Valles stated,"but you can also have an impact."
Amor A Mar, as a business model, helps to address one main goal of the United Nations for Sustainability and supports indirectly many others. Its main objective, the number 12 UN Nations Global Goal of Responsible Consumption and Production, aims at changing consumption habits for seafood, which once it hits the customers is expected to spread to other kinds of foods. Society needs to recognize the cost of having a whole supermarket full of fresh food and ask the important questions regarding the origins and waste caused by the previous business model. The food surplus directly affects the unequal distribution of food. It is not likely that people in rich countries will go hungry during the food crisis, because they spend only a relatively small amount of their income on food. However, many families in poor countries spend up to 80% of their income on food. If prices of certain foods double, these families will not be able to buy food anymore. An awareness of consumption will help reduce price hikes.
In addition, the model still supports Goal 8 of Decent Work and Economic Growth by ensuring the adequate management of local fishermen. The new business models ensure that wages are paid on time, are fair and that the sea is treated with the correct strategies that avoid fishing or damaging other species in the sea environment, which also complies with Goal 14 of looking towards Life Below Water.
Daniel Valles, Owner
Amor a Mar (Love to the Sea) is a new app that allows consumers to buy the best seafood products directly from local producers and fishermen in the coasts of Baja California, México. Amor a Mar is an innovative approach to purchasing seafood directly from local fisherman, created and run by Black Market restaurant owner Daniel Valles.