Dr Ingrid Kelling is Market Outreach Director at IPNLF. Ingrid has been working for 15 years on sustainable seafood supply chains from the perspective of both the public and private sectors. She joins us from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and previously worked at the WorldFish Center, Unilever ICF and the European Parliament. She has a Masters from the University of Cambridge and a PhD in Marketing and Sustainable Aquaculture Supply Chains from the University of Stirling. Ingrid will take the lead on all our market outreach work, focusing on existing and new Members.
How did you get involved in the seafood industry?
By chance! I studied international relations at University and after graduation was looking for work as a Parliamentary Assistant when a job became available for a Scottish MEP at the European Parliament. I wasn’t sure whether to apply for the job because he was responsible for the….fisheries portfolio, which at the time didn’t sound very exciting to me. Little did I know! He became Chairman of the Fisheries Committee in the European Parliament during the pivotal Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy in Europe, and I was launched into a subject that still fascinates me, and in which I have made my career!
Would you encourage women to follow a career in the seafood industry?
Working on fisheries and aquaculture issues covers an enormous range of subjects – from the environment and development to economics, marketing, public policy, sustainability, human rights and trade. In that sense, there is a whole range of available jobs to suit every preference. Even though woman make up a substantial proportion of the industry in some sectors, they are under-represented in others. I find that I am less and less the only woman in the room and that increasingly I meet women holding key positions, particularly in areas of policy, marketing and sustainability. Hopefully this will continue to expand and women will be presented with even more decision-level opportunities.
What is your biggest reward working in the seafood industry?
“It’s a small world” is a phrase that you hear a lot in the seafood industry. It’s like a big family with members that we encounter again and again at different meetings or events. Sometimes even when I have met people during my fieldwork in developing countries whom I am unlikely to cross paths with again, a huge sense of community still exists and that we are all working towards the same goal: ensuring the future viability and sustainability of the industry, the environment and its communities.