Grimsby fish meal plant achieves BRC approval

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 26 Nov 2018

GRIMSBY’S fish meal production plant has achieved British Retail Consortium approval as it looks to grow its supply into the pet food industry.

Pelagia UK, as the former United Fish Industries site is now known having adopted the Norwegian parent company’s name, has been providing a solution for trimmings from the town’s merchants and major processors for more than 80 years.

And it is following the standards set to bring assurances to customers, allied to those in the human food chain.

Mike Hryckowian, general manager, said: “We see a growing supply to the pet food industry and we felt it would enhance what we do here and that it would give confidence to new customers, knowing that they are dealing with a BRC company.

“A lot of work has gone into it, and we are grateful to Neil Jones, a Grimsby consultant, who has been working with us. It is confidence in the systems that we have got in Pelagia Grimsby. The basic systems were there, but Neil came in and helped us tweak them to something very much akin to the food industry.”

Investment in new resin floors and wash-down walls has enhanced the physical infrastructure of the plant that dates back to 1935.

Bagged fishmeal at Pelagia UK's Grimsby site. The site is now responsible for the bagging of product for four UK sites.

The past year has also seen Grimsby, one of four UK sites owned by Pelagia, become the primary bagging plant for its fish meal, taking deliveries from Scottish plants in Aberdeen and Greenock, as well as Killybegs in Northern Ireland.

Two more staff are in the process of being taken on, with a group international sales manager also based in Grimsby.

Read more: Curbing the kerb-side rogue fishmongers

Of the wider outlook, Mr Hryckowian, who is a Seafood Grimsby & Humber board member, said: “We are doing OK, there is a concern shared with the entire processing industry here about Brexit, and what tariffs and any barriers could bring.

“If there are hold-ups at Immingham where the fish comes in, is that something that would put Icelandic fish exporters off. Would it end up at a European port rather than Immingham? That’s our concern, and it would have a big impact on the whole fishing industry in Grimsby.

“From an export point of view the majority of fish oil is exported to Holland, with other exports to France, Germany and Spain.

If tariffs and barriers are put up, there isn’t really a home market.

“We are budgeting for a reduced tonnage, with potential for the price of fish to go up and a reduction in consumption as well. We’ll just have to wait and see.”

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