Marine Harvest secretly worked on new company name for two years

Aslak Berge

Newly launched Mowi combines history, company name and brand.

“We are returning to our roots,” said Alf-Helge Aarskog, CEO, just after he and the chairman Ole-Eirik Lerøy unveiled the new white-painted Mowi logo, which is located on the stage in The Assembly Rooms in the heart of Edinburgh.

Today Marine Harvest took the leap and changed its name to Mowi. Only approval from the company’s general meeting now remains.

The change of name was announced in conjunction with capital market day, taking place in the Scottish capital this Tuesday morning.

MOWI was Norway, and the world’s first farmer of high quality salmon. A number of entrepreneurs tried and failed to farm salmon in the late 1950s. But the first generation of high, consistent quality salmon was down to Thor Mowinckel and MOWI.

MOWI focused on the production of salmon in closed-containment farms. In a secluded stream on Flogøy on the west side of Sotra. The first launch was made in 1968, based on smolt produced by a fish farm in Tveitevågen in Askøy.

In April 1971 the first fish was harvested on the pier in Møvik, and was collected by Lerøy’s trucks. From there the fish was transported to Lerøy’s freezer warehouse in Sandviken, where a ten-year-old truck driver, called Ole-Eirik Lerøy, was among those who took care of the goods.

Price premiums
“The fish was sent fresh to France,” said Ole-Eirik Lerøy, now chairman of Marine Harvest, to SalmonBusiness.

Thor Mowinckel came into my father’s office and asked if MOWI salmon earned NOK 5 in price premium compared to other salmon. If it didn’t, he got angry. It had (Mowi) labels on it and was produced and packed in a different way than any other salmon,” Lerøy recalled.

MOWI changed its name to Hydro Seafood, and was acquired and merged into Marine Harvest in 2000.

“I think it makes sense to change the company’s name to the same as the brand,” Aarskog said about the name change. The company had worked in secret, internally and externally, for two years.


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