independent

Saturday 21 September 2019

New product development for Wexford seafood companies

TWO County Wexford-based seafood companies are in the final stages of new product development following their attendance at a series of workshops primarily focusing on the French and Continental markets and discussing the issues affecting the UK market post-Brexit.

Seafood companies - Sofrimar and Atlantis Seafoods, from County Wexford - Ballycotton Seafoods, Irish Seaspray, Irish Fish Canners and Morgan's Fine Fish benefited from tailored Innovation surgeries from renowned experts Francois Denis and Mike Burthet.

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Ireland's Seafood Development Agency hosted the 'Seafood Innovation Academy' workshops at its Seafood Development Centre in Clonakilty.

The surgeries were designed to meet the specific needs of the attending companies with a focus on launching products in the French market with Francois Denis and operating on the UK market in the Brexit environment with Mike Berthet.

All attending companies were given support from BIM's Seafood Technologists to discuss projects in the pipeline and plans for the coming year around New Product Development and Innovation.

Attendees also gained insights into product research from Aiden Lee, Managing Director, Eolas International and in new product development from Daniel Emerson, Managing Director of Stonewell Cider.

As a result of participating in BIM's Seafood Innovation Academy, all eight seafood processing companies have now adopted an innovation process in their factories and in the majority of cases are now at final stages of new product development.

John Kenny, the managing director of Sofrimar, said the company was trying to add value to the raw fish coming in. 'We're looking at products that have never been on the market before, niche market products. All our products are gluten free.' said Mr Kenny.

He said that because of the uncertainty created by Brexit, Atlantis was concentrating on export markets in the European Continent - with Germany, Italy and France perceived as the main customers. 'We find that over the last two years because of added value we have taken on six or seven people and that's where we see the growth,' he said. Atlantis currently employs 52 people in Wexford. Atlantis Seafood recently won the BIM 'Seafood Innovation Award' at this year's Blas na hEireann awards in Dingle for their Kilmore Quay haddock goujon range

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