Marine Harvest, the world’s biggest fish-farmer, outlines massive expansion plan for its SupremeSalmon
By Fabian Dawson
Marine Harvest, the world’s biggest fish-farmer, plans to open 2,000 all-salmon restaurants in China and Taiwan in the coming years, targeting turnovers of USD 2 billion by 2025.
It’s brand idea, SupremeSalmon, is expected to launch as a supermarket item and as restaurants of the same name, Norwegian newspaper, Dagens Naeringsliv, reported.
The concept has been tested out in Taiwan, where the company already has two restaurants (pictured), a fish processing plant in Jhongli and a culinary classroom in Taipei. It has also established five eateries in China, according to the report
“Strategically, it’s an extremely important investment,” Group chief executive, Ola Brattvoll, was quoted by the newspaper as saying.
The company expects it could take up to eight years to have 2,000 restaurants, and is investing “significant sums” to build a customer base.
The announcement comes in the wake of political tensions easing between Norway and China, which has led to Marine Harvest resuming shipping salmon to China.
In mid-December, diplomatic relations between Norway and China were normalized when the two countries signed a joint statement in Beijing. This eased tensions between the countries that dated back to 2010 when Norway gave a Nobel Prize to a Chinese dissident.
Marine Harvest globally produces one-fifth of the world’s farm-raised salmon at facilities in Norway, Scotland, Canada, Chile, Ireland and the Faroe Islands. Globally, it employs over 12 000 people.
In Canada, Marine Harvest operates salmon farms on the coast of British Columbia and Vancouver Island, where 530 people produce 45,000 tonnes of sustainable farm-raised Atlantic salmon each year.
China is the second largest market, after the United States for BC’s farm-raised salmon.
Farm-raised salmon is B.C.’s highest valued seafood product, the province’s top agricultural export, and generates over $1.5-billion towards the B.C. economy, resulting in over 6,600 jobs.
In 2016, B.C. exported $1.3 billion in seafood products to 80 markets, an increase of 17 per cent in value from 2015.
The top five seafood export markets are United States $799 million (60 per cent), China $265 million (20 per cent), Japan $106 million (8 per cent), Ukraine $31 million (2 per cent), and Hong Kong $24 million (2 per cent).
Comparatively, in 2016, Canadian farmed seafood production and processing generated a total of over $5.1 billion in economic activity, $2 billion in GDP, and $1.16 billion in wages for 25,000 Canadian workers
Over 40 First Nation and Indigenous communities are now directly or indirectly involved in farming seafood in Canada.