Through two brainstorming sessions, in each of the participating countries (11 EU countries and 1 CELAC) with different stakeholders, the project will go a step further in catalysing the list of barriers and opportunities currently present in the market. Collected information will be of crucial importance for the development of strong business plans that will maximize strengths and opportunities and on the other hand, avoid threats and weaknesses that come from the competition of the bio-based/mineral fertilizer and/or within the new product development process.

The first brainstorm sessions were held in 2023 and the total number of participants was 135. Depending on the country, the brainstorm sessions were held online/live and the most represented stakeholder groups were agricultural producers, fisheries/aquaculture companies/processors and the fertilizer processing industry. Topics of most interest were focused on BBF availability and future on the market, price, nutritional content, possibilities of processing the fish by-products and their advantages and disadvantages in general. The main goal of the brainstorm sessions was to gain insight into stakeholders’ views on the current state of fertilizers on the market and their opinions on new ones that will be produced as part of the project. Furthermore, the important goal was to find out how much the newly produced fertilizers would be accepted by the stakeholders regarding quality, price, organic matter. Their opinion was received via a questionnaire on the production and market uptake of BBFs from fishing by-products and via Business Model Canvas (BMC). The main advantages of BBFs, from the stakeholder’s point of view, are a high percentage of organic matter in the fertilizer, slow release of nutrition, followed by improved crop yields, soil fertility and decreased dependence on synthetic fertilizers. Regarding the questionnaire, most of the respondents showed a willingness to use fertilizers obtained from fish waste. The main reasons for choosing this kind of fertilizer are the content of organic matter and price. Stakeholders have shown keen interest in the project’s themes and the results so far. They have indicated a preference for receiving more detailed information about the project outcomes.

Figure 1: The brainstorm session in Croatia

Figure 2: The brainstorm session in Croatia