Future of Mowi’s operations in Atlantic Canada thrown into question as MD resigns

Mowi Canada East Managing Director Alan Cook has left the company.

Cook took on the role in October 2020, following a temperature event months prior that killed 2.6 million salmon and caused the company’s licenses to be suspended temporarily. His task was immense: to help Mowi start afresh in Atlantic Canada.

Alan, Cook, outgoing Managing Director of Mowi Canada East. Photo: Alan Cook

But Cook announced on Linkedin on Friday that he has moved on from the company, without stating a reason. “You could say that I chose to pursue a different direction in my career,” Cook later told SalmonBusiness.

Replacing him temporarily is current Mowi Canada East human resources manager, Kristina White, while the company seeks a permanent replacement.

Tough farming conditions in NL
The biological challenges in Mowi’s operations in Eastern Canada put a damper on the Group’s otherwise stellar overall performance in 2021.

In an earlier interview with this journalist, Cook acknowledged the unique challenges in salmon farming in the region, particularly in Newfoundland. In November 2021, Norwegian parent company Mowi declared it was “temporarily holding back growth” in the province. This meant the operations will continue to grow fish but the expected pace of growth has been slowed, Cook said at that time.

Upon taking up the role two years ago, he set about restructuring the company in order to get it back on a growth path. The company went through a phase of rapid development in 2018, 2019 and 2020, so Cook’s emphasis upon joining was “to slow down and consolidate those changes.”

He wanted to get the operations into a position “where we have a stable operating system that everybody – feeding, harvesting, processing, freshwater – understands, so every aspect will reach solid performance.”

A newcomer will take the reins
The summer of 2021 marked the first time the operations had the full complement of sea lice control systems in place. Results from those investments were to be evaluated last summer and this summer and those would dictate future strategies. But a newcomer will now have to take on this task.

Mowi ASA of Norway entered the region in 2017 with the acquisition of Gray Aqua Group and Northern Harvest. The fish farming licenses of the two family-owned companies are in Newfoundland and New Brunswick.


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