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Morrisons to launch seafood manufacturing business to reduce time from 'catch to kitchen'

Morrisons is today announcing plans to launch its own seafood processing business to deliver quality fish into its stores. The company will be acquiring an empty factory in Grimsby and equipping it for seafood production by the end of 2012. As a result, Morrisons will be the only major food retailer to source fish direct from the quayside and process it for sale across the country.

Today’s announcement represents a further step in Morrisons’ strategy of manufacturing more of the fresh food that is sold in its stores.

By developing this business, the company will be in an enhanced position to deliver quality fresh and frozen seafood more quickly into store – and at an affordable price for shoppers. 

Around 200 jobs will be created at the Europa Business Park factory in Grimsby which will fillet and portion a wide variety of seafood.

Dalton Philips, Chief Executive of Morrisons, said: “This will deliver mouth-wateringly fresh fish into our stores. Nobody else is buying direct from the quayside but we’re doing it. Building this seafood business will allow us to move our fish from ‘catch to kitchen’ even more quickly, giving our customers fantastic quality seafood products at stunning prices.”

Morrisons has recruited industry experts to lead the business such as Frank Green, who was appointed Head of Seafood Trading for Morrisons in January and was previously at Young’s. The factory in Grimsby will be run by Howard Sims, as Managing Director, and Rob Smith as Head of Operations.

Howard has 46 years of experience in the food industry, while Rob has a broad knowledge of the seafood industry and has worked on product development with Marks & Spencer. 

Martyn Fletcher, Group Manufacturing Director, said: “Manufacturing is a crucial part of our business so increasing our strength in this area is vital as Morrisons continues to grow.” 

“We are delighted to have Frank, Howard and Rob on board to run the business for us. They have a huge wealth of knowledge and collectively over 100 years of experience in the seafood industry and the food retail sector. They will be invaluable to the development of this site and an outstanding seafood business.”

Morrisons will also shortly appoint a fisheries and aquaculture specialist to further develop their credentials in sourcing and sustainability. 

Recruitment for the new roles, which will include managerial and factory operatives will begin in the near future with Morrisons looking to fill the positions with suitable local candidates where possible.

Greg Clark MP, Minister for Cities, who visited Grimsby this week to talk about promoting growth in the area, said: “Grimsby has been through tough times, but this news from Morrisons is a real vote of confidence in the economic future of the area.

This investment reinforces Grimsby's position as the heart a vital cluster for the food processing industry, and will create valuable growth and jobs. I saw this week the positive difference this investment will make.”

Published 05/03/2012

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