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Half a million meals exported fresh every week

HB Grandi’s exports of fresh fish have increased this year compared to last year and the volume is expected to increase still further. This is in line with the company’s policy of increasing fresh production and reducing its production of seafrozen fish. Fresh portions that are equivalent to half a million meals have been exported every week recently, according to fresh sales manager Sólveig Arna Jóhannesdóttir.

As we have already reported, HB Grandi is placing increased emphasis on its fresh production with the start of the new quota year. This comes as a result of increased quotas for cod, redfish and saithe, and as a result the decision was taken to boost fresh supplies the Reykjavík and Akranes factories by adding one more fresher trawler to the company fleet. With fresh production expected to increase, the company has also invested heavily in processing technology and has increased staff numbers at its shore production.

According to Sólveig Arna Jóhannesdóttir, HB Grandi’s prime markets are in France, Germany and Belgium. She commented that this is because these countries have long traditions of consuming the species that the company handles and also because of the excellent logistic.

‘Looking at the exports, we can see that around half a million Europeans are buying themselves a portion of HB Grandi fish every week. That’s equivalent to a portion and a half every week for everyone in Iceland, and we anticipate this customer base growing in future,’ said Sólveig Arna Jóhannesdóttir, adding that there is nothing coincidental about this success.

‘We have worked systematically to increase fresh sales, with both conventional and speciality products. There has been investment in new processing lines and equipment, as well as one of the company’s trawlers being refitted to make this possible. The increased allocations at the beginning off the quota year, combined with more being routed to fresh production, has given us more raw material to work with. There is also the investment in new equipment that makes it possible to meet customers’ requirements. We can now also deliver large amounts of fix weight portions, which is perfect for catering for a large number of people or under circumstances in which there are strict requirements for each meal’s protein content. We can now deliver boneless fillets and increase the yields in production of high-value products more effectively than in conventional fillet production.’

She said that as well as its cod production, HB Grandi has a long tradition of working with other species, such as redfish and saithe.

‘We have strong production in species that have traditionally been cheaper products than cod, but we have developed these species by improving quality and looking for opportunities to add value. Our strength is that this is a vertically integrated operation and we control every aspect of production from catching to production and sales. Like any chain, it is never stronger than the weakest link, so we have approached quality issues systematically, working with the crews, production staff, transport partners and customers to achieve top quality and maximum shelf life for our products,’ Sólveig Arna Jóhannesdóttir said.