Lerøy Seafood Group aims to have as much production as possible in Norway, using Norwegian raw materials. The Group has therefore invested billions of Norwegian kroner in boosting capacity, ensuring top quality, extending its product range and securing distribution to customers both at home and abroad. These investments have comprised new buildings, reconstruction, expansion or rehabilitation of processing and landing facilities from the very north in Finnmark to south-east in Kalbakken in Oslo.
“It is our goal to increase the level of processing. We currently process around 40% of the salmon and trout we produce, and aim to increase this figure,” confirms CEO of Lerøy Seafood Group, Henning Beltestad.
One excellent example of this goal is the new facility for processing salmon on Jøsnøya island in Hitra, where production started in 2018. The goal for the new facility is for 70% of the fish distributed to be packaged fillets.
New construction and modernization
Lerøy’s Norwegian facilities produce a full range of products, from fillets to consumer packs for both the domestic market and export. Lerøy has processing plants for salmon in all three regions; Aurora (Troms and Finnmark), Central Norway (Trøndelag) and West Norway (Hordaland). Sjømathuset in Oslo and Sjømatgruppen supply fresh seafood to all the shops in the Norgesgruppen retail chain, and to restaurants and canteens throughout Norway.
In recent years, Lerøy Norway Seafoods has invested in the reconstruction of a plant for the production of ready-to-eat products in Stamsund. The facility in Melbu has been modernised and now has extended capacity. A new fish landing station has also been built in Skårvågen. The facility in Rypefjord recently re-opened (for production of salted fish) after it closed in 2014. A new landing station has been built in Berlevåg and capacity in Båtsfjord has increased. The Group also has a new crab production line in Kjøllefjord.
Lerøy's plant in Sogn og Fjordane produces Norwegian fish products using Norwegian fish for the Norwegian market. Just this year, Lerøy moved production of one of its products back from Denmark to Norway. Today, eight of 11 Norway Seafoods products traded in Norway are produced in Norway. We want to improve on this.
Lerøy Seafood Group has trawling quotas via the trawlers owned by Havfisk, and these mainly deliver raw materials for production in Norway.
“More than 50% of cod catches and just less than 50% of saithe catches delivered by our trawlers are processed in our own plants or sent to other processing plants in Norway,” confirms Webjørn Barstad, EVP Wild Catch and Whitefish in Lerøy Seafood Group.
The main share of Havfisk's catches is processed in Norway. The minor share not processed in Norway comprises small fish that are difficult to produce profitably in Norway. Lerøy is the largest purchaser of fish from the Norwegian coastal fleet. Havfisk is also the largest supplier of shrimp to Norwegian facilities.
“In reality, we process almost all our cod in Norway,” confirms Webjørn Barstad. The fish delivered by the trawlers supplements the deliveries from the coastal fleet – in other words, during those periods of the year when the coastal fleet has a low volume of deliveries due to seasonal landing trends.
“The process of industrial development requires patience, a long-term perspective and considerable investments. At Lerøy, we like to say that we view development of our business from an eternal perspective,” explains CEO Henning Beltestad.
Lerøy's comprehensive and wide-ranging operations create major value and significant spin-off effects. The Group has more than 4,600 employees, of which 3,300 work in Norway. Every full-time equivalent in the seafood industry generates around 1.1 new, directly related full-time equivalent in other industries. One average large aquaculture locality in operation individually contributes 42 full-time equivalents in Norway. As such, Lerøy plays a substantial and important role in a number of local communities along the coast of Norway.
Thanks to the Group's strategy to focus on local purchases of goods and services, these local spin-off effects are further enhanced. In 2018, Lerøy purchased goods and services from Norwegian suppliers worth close to NOK 17 billion, across 257 municipalities. Tax and duty payments made by the Group and its employees totalled NOK 1.7 billion.
Furthermore, the municipalities and county councils where Lerøy is located received more than NOK 1.1 billion from Havbruksfondet (Aquaculture fund) in the autumn of 2018 (NOK 834 million to the municipalities and NOK 229 million to the county councils), of which more than NOK 200 million came from Lerøy's operations.
“The Group views its operations as local with a global perspective. The Group aims to be an enterprise with local roots in the locations where it operates, thereby contributing to all our local communities,” confirms CEO Henning Beltestad.