Double-shifting the Christmas salmon line

Cecilia Brurok/Lars Otto Eide, Hitra-Frøya

Norwegian processors see an increased appetite for Christmas salmon

All three of our big-three salmon processing plants have signalled busy times ahead of Christmas Day. Salmar’s Christmas sales, for one, have hit record heights, writes newspaper Hitra-Frøya.

“The Christmas sale this year is a little more active than last year. We’re cheered this year by significantly more processing of salmon than historically. We at Salmar want to create the smallest possible footprint in the public space we’ve received in which to produce salmon, and when we land the salmon here, we want to get the most possible value creation out of it via processing at Innovamar,” said Salmar sales executive, Gustav Witzoe.

Europe push
For market reasons, he wouldn’t go into details about exact Christmas salmon export numbers. Still, he says there’s especially good demand for individual filleted products at Christmas, and most of it goes to Poland and other Baltic Countries to be smoked. From there, it’s sold to the rest of Europe.

“The biggest market for smoked salmon is France, Germany and Italy. But, we also see there’s significant consumption growth in Poland.

Do you have more salmon to get rid of after last year’s biological improvements?

“Salmar has markedly more production this year than we had last year. If I’m not mistaken, we had 118,000 tonnes in 2016. This year, we’ve communicated to the market that we’ve produced 130,000 t.”

Full tilt
At Marine Harvest at Ulvan on Hitra Island, they’re also noticing people’s increased desire for salmon at Christmas.

“We’re full on here in two shifts,” writes factory foreman, Olaf Reppe. He says 20 tractor-trailers a day leave Ulvan will whole salmon and fillets.

“The pace is like before, a great deal before Christmas. Many want to celebrate Christmas and want the best, healthiest and loveliest dinner. Most of it is being sent to our own facility in Europe (Poland and France). They then distribute it more to consumers in Europe.

At Leroy Midts factory on Hitra, it’s the same: “It’s full trailers here until Christmas,” company leadership said. From this Leroy facility, 15 to 20 tractor-trailers depart daily.

All the salmon goes through Leroy in Bergen, where it’s processed and sent onwards to many countries around the world.

“A lot of salmon product is being eaten in the Christmas period, and there’s a lot of fish that has to go out to market before then,” said Leroy human resources manager, Wenke Jobotn.


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