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2023: A year in review

2023 has been a remarkable year for Lerøy Seafood Group, marked by several noteworthy events. Here, we present the key highlights from the past year.

Seafood Industry's Most Attractive Employer

As we entered 2023, we were proud to be recognized as the most attractive employer in the seafood industry. This accolade was based on a student survey conducted by Salmon City, with participation from over 800 students across 12 different colleges and universities.

– We are delighted that students view the industry, particularly with us at Lerøy, as an attractive workplace. Lerøy offers a multitude of opportunities, and we are in great need of new talents with diverse skills throughout the value chain, says Liv-Ane Engelsen, Talent Manager at Lerøy.

Investments in new technology

Throughout the year, Lerøy has invested in forward-looking technology resulting in more stable workplaces, reduced occurrences of salmon lice, improved fish health, enhanced sustainability in food production, and lowered carbon emissions.

A significant focus has been directed towards upgrading factories in East Finnmark, notably the Kjøllefjord factory specializing in king crab and the fillet factory in Båtsfjord. This initiative involves demolishing and rebuilding parts of existing structures, replacing them with entirely new buildings and production equipment. This measure has contributed to increased efficiency in the factories while securing activity and jobs along the coast.

Additionally, the company has implemented new technology to shield salmon from lice by introducing a combination of submersible and semi-closed cages at selected sites in Lerøy Midt and Lerøy Sjøtroll. These are locations facing specific challenges related to lice.

– We believe this will contribute to growth and development in sustainable and competitive salmon production near the Norwegian coast. It is also about securing food production and future employment along the Norwegian coast, says Bjarne Reinert, COO for Aqua Culture.

As part of our goal to reduce carbon emissions by 46% by 2030, Lerøy has also made remarkable investments in shore power facilities for wellboats at Jøsnøya and Hitra. Equipped with innovative solutions, these boats enable more sustainable food production and reduced carbon emissions. The facility at Jøsnøya is designed for the wellboat to operate entirely on shore power during direct unloading of harvested fish, eliminating the need for diesel. Lerøy Midt's shore power facility contributes to reducing the carbon footprint by several thousand tons of CO2 equivalents annually.

Maritime Achievement of the Year

In August, Aqua Nor awarded Lerøy the title of Maritime Achievement of the Year. This recognition was attributed to our commitment to adapting workwear for women in the aquaculture industry. Earlier thid year, Lerøy focused on addressing the challenges faced by women in the industry regarding workwear traditionally designed for men. Active collaboration with the clothing manufacturer Ahlsell led to a solution for this issue.

The jury stated:

"The award goes to one of Norway's largest seafood companies with roots dating back to 1899. The company receives the award for its work through commitment to creating a safe, inclusive, and developing work environment. In response to employee requests, Lerøy Seafood Group used its position to challenge the supplier industry, primarily Ahlsell, to create workwear tailored to the female body. Now, women will have workwear they feel comfortable in. Pregnant women are also offered tailored workwear, enabling them to continue working for a longer period. This is a victory for the work environment and gender equality, setting an example for others in the industry."

Climate Champion with ambitious goals

Lerøy's overarching climate goal is to reduce emissions by 46% by 2030, covering both direct and indirect emissions across the entire value chain. Lerøy's commitment to climate action has gained recognition beyond the corporate sphere.

Throughout the year, Lerøy received notable accolades related to its climate efforts. In PwC's annual climate index report, we were named the climate champion for the second consecutive year, highlighted as one of the nine Norwegian companies aligning with the Paris Agreement.

– We are proud and grateful for this recognition. It shows that our company is on the right track in our crucial climate work. Seafood is an environmentally friendly protein, and Lerøy has ambitious plans to make it an even more environmentally friendly option in the years ahead, says Hennig Beltestad, CEO of Lerøy Seafood Group ASA.

Additionally, we secured a prominent position on the Coller FAIRR index, which evaluates the world's 60 largest publicly traded protein producers based on selected sustainability indicators.

– Topping the Coller FAIRR Index is, of course, a noteworthy recognition for Lerøy, but first and foremost for Norwegian and Nordic aquaculture, emphasizes Anne Hilde Midttveit, ESG and Quality Manager at Lerøy Seafood Group.

TV Charity Event

This year's TV charity event (NRK TV-aksjonen) raised a record sum of 273.7 million NOK for Save the Children, dedicated to helping children affected by war and conflict. Lerøy, a long-term partner with Save the Children, actively contributed to the fundraising efforts.

Our HR Director, Siren Grønhaug, participated in the Business Volunteer Campaign in Vestland, where she helped raise funds from the business community. In collaboration with our partner, Sportsklubben Brann, we replaced Lerøy's logo on the players' shorts with Save the Children's motto "Let children live in peace" and the TV charity event's logo. These shorts were auctioned off during the matches on October 21 and 22, raising funds for the charity. Additionally, we collected donations directly from our employees and through waffle sales at the headquarters in Bergen. Lerøy Seafood Group matched all contributions made on the crowdfunding platform, resulting in a total collection of 210,000 NOK.

Lerøy Spain's 10-Year Anniversary

In 2013, Lerøy Processing Spain was established with the aim of delivering sustainable, high-quality products from the Norwegian Sea to Spain. Over the past decade, Lerøy in Spain has experienced substantial growth. The company expanded its product range from fresh fish to the Asian assortment, opening factories in Barcelona, Valencia, Alicante, Las Palmas, and Madrid, as well as Lisbon in Portugal. The Asian cuisine is gaining more prominence in the Spanish and Portuguese markets, with ready-to-eat products such as ramen, sushi, yakisoba, and gyoza, preferably featuring Norwegian salmon.

Collaborative Partnerships

In Lerøy, we take pride in our numerous partnerships highlighted by notable achievements and sports performances. March saw the conclusion of one of the best international seasons ever for the Norwegian speed skating team, securing 5 World Championship medals, 2 European Championship medals, and a remarkable 19 World Cup medals. For the 23/24 season, Lerøy, in collaboration with VGTV and Sparebanken Øst, secured a crucial partnership ensuring that speed skating events will be broadcast on Norwegian television.

In May, in collaboration with our partner Beach Volley Vikings, including Olympic champions Anders Mol and Christian Sørum, we organized Lerøy Beach Camp in Bergen. This event, attended by around 100 children, was a great success, focusing on play, fun, collaboration, learning, and seafood. Anders and Christian achieved an impressive silver medal in the 2023 season.

In May, the men's team of Sportsklubben Brann secured the Norwegian Football Cup in the final against Lillestrøm, marking their first cup victory since 2004. Congratulations also to Brann women's team for their silver medal in the league. On the women's side, Brann made history by qualifying for the Champions League, becoming the first Norwegian team to do so since the introduction of the group stage.

Photo by: Estela Re-Ma

Historically, the Norwegian rowing team achieved qualification for the Olympics for the first time in 28 years in September! Additionally, two boats qualified on the men's side, and one boat for the Paralympics. In 2023, Lerøy also organized four cleanup Sundays with rower Martin Helseth, collaborating with local rowing clubs to remove waste from land and water around the club's premises.

Fish Health

We consistently strive for optimal fish health in our daily operations. Recently, we faced challenges related to gill health at some of our locations, a matter we take extremely seriously. Our targeted efforts on fish welfare have already yielded results, and we continue to implement numerous measures to enhance fish health, prioritizing this aspect moving forward. Fish labeled with Lerøy in stores are assured to be safe, of high quality, and of good taste.

At every stage of our operations, we place particular emphasis on promoting robust fish, preventing disease, and maintaining an optimal environment. This includes the use of high-quality feed, continuous fish monitoring, and interventions in breeding and production processes. Through transparency, ongoing research and development, and certifications such as the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, Lerøy commits to responsible and sustainable aquaculture practices, aiming to minimize the impact on marine ecosystems and ensure good fish health. New technology is also a crucial initiative for better fish welfare, and Lerøy is making significant investments in technology to ensure healthier fish more shielded from lice.

We would like to thank everyone for a year filled with knowledge, continuous development, and substantial progress! Now, we turn our gaze toward the upcoming year—Happy New Year!