The Group divides its products into four main areas: salmon products, whitefish, pelagic fish and shellfish. The distinction between farmed species and wild fish is significant, requiring different logistics and working methods. These products are distributed on the Norwegian market and more than 70 other markets worldwide.
The Group’s strategy is to meet the market’s ever-increasing demands for food safety, quality, product range, cost efficiency and continuity of supply. This is achieved by coordinating the various elements in the value chain: the production units, the Group’s sales network, and established strategic alliances with sea farms, fishing vessels and fish-processing plants, primarily along the coast of Norway.
The Lerøy Seafood Group has a large proportion of fresh fish products in its product range – currently more than 80%. After Atlantic salmon and trout, the largest product area is whitefish, which in recent years has developed favourably through cooperation with a number of small and medium-sized companies. Lerøy Seafood Group is also a supplier of shellfish and fresh pelagic fish to the Norwegian and European markets. This represents a small but interesting niche product area.
The Group has sustained its positive trend within product development in 2017, with the launch of a number of innovative products and new product types, mainly within freshly packaged fish.
The Group also continues to develop its “fish-cut” concept in many parts of Europe. These processing units follow a target-driven and efficient strategy, focusing on freshness, a high level of service and proximity to end customer.
Lerøy focuses on packaging and is constantly searching for good sustainable packaging solutions. We want to use packaging solutions that are optimal in terms of the customer, food safety and the environment. We seek solutions that provide a good consumer experience and minimum waste. Correct size in relation to content is also important. Together with one of our partners, we have developed the concept “Til låns”.
Lerøy’s history dates back to 1899 when the fisherman- farmer Ole Mikkel Lerøen started selling live fish at the fish market in Bergen. Over time, Ole Mikkel expanded activities to include retail sales in Bergen, the sale of live shell fish and a budding export business. This pioneering spirit remains the very foundations on which we base all the products we supply and produce for markets in many different parts of the world.
Norway Seafoods is our quality brand for sustainable white fish caught in the wild – and sourced from the Arctic seas in the north. More than 1,700 fishers, working from the smallest smacks to the largest trawlers, deliver their catches every day to our packaging plants north of the Arctic Circle. The very best raw ingredients are picked, processed and packaged, then distributed to markets worldwide.
We produce our salmon in fjords surrounded by the magnificent scenery of North Norway with its spectacular Northern Lights. This unique product is extremely popular among the best sushi chefs in Japan, served as top-quality sushi and sashimi. The long, light summer nights in North Norway, with the rays of the midnight sun and the short winter days when the amboyant Aurora Borealis dance over the skies – these all leave their mark on our Aurora fish. Aurora Salmon has become a highly recognised brand in Japan as the best salmon for sushi.
Our trout, which are hatched and farmed in the deep fjords that lie nestled among the enchanting high mountains of West Norway, are in demand all over the world. The tale of Lerøy and this fjord trout starts way back in 1899, when the young Ole Mikkel Lerøen would row the long journey, time after time, to sell his fresh fish at the fish market in Bergen. Fjord trout has a unique, deep red-coloured flesh and is both tender yet firm, with a delicate and fresh flavour.
A blend of passionate commitment and burning interest with more than 140 years of traditional craftsmanship allows us to serve first-class fish. Arctic Supreme is a quality brand for a special selection of white fish products. These products are developed together with and fished by the most highly skilled fishermen along the coast of North Norway – hand-picked because they know how to deliver the highest quality fresh fish and, not least, because they share our passion for fish.
The popular Osterfjord trout has been produced for generations on the island of Osterøy, at the very gateway to the famous fjords of West Norway. Our facility on the island of Osterøy produces an extensive range of hot-smoked, cold-smoked and marinated trout products. Lerøy Fossen's smoked trout is one of the most popular products from this cornerstone company – and we can reveal that the smoking process, which uses black elder, is based on traditions that date back more than 200 years.
Based on 65 years of experience and developments, the Sea Eagle brand is recognised for its high-quality seafood products. The brand is particularly well-known for one of the finest smoked salmon products currently sold worldwide, and this is complemented by an extensive range of other Norwegian seafood products. Our Sea Eagle brand has always been acknowledged for its superior products, based on the successful combination of traditional handcrafts with modern production.
In recent years, Lerøy Seafood Group has targeted the sale of its own brand products under the Lerøy brand.
In 2017, the percentage of products based on raw materials owned by the Group was 62.5%, the same as in 2016.
The Group also sells a number of products certified to various sustainability standards, such as ASC, MSC, GLOBALG.A.P. and Debio/KRAV. The volume of certified fish sold is higher than the volume that carries a certification label because the current production volume exceeds market demand for these products. However, there has been a significant increase in demand for certified products from 2016 to 2017.
The major by-products in Lerøy Seafood Group’s operations are:
Lerøy Seafood Group works hard to achieve the highest possible rate of utilisation of raw materials produced or caught. This implies a goal of 100% utilisation of all nutritious raw material not used in the main production process. The by-product share depends on the type and specification of the processed products. The most important processed products are fillets, and salmon and trout portions with or without skin. The utilisation rate for fillets is 55–74%, while the residual products become by-products. For portions, the utilisation rate is 45–68% depending on the specification.
Lerøy Seafood Group is actively involved in all parts of the value chain to ensure supply of safe products to the consumer. Based on experience gained over many years, we have developed a quality system comprising routines and procedures to ensure supply of safe products. As part of our quality assurance routines, we carry out control and monitoring of our manufacturers and partners. This involves specifying requirements for their quality systems and routines, carrying out analyses and monitoring operations. Our quality team carries out from 250 to 300 quality audits every year. Moreover, the products are controlled by Lerøy Seafood Group at different stages of the production process: from egg/boat/purchasing station to finished packaged product and, in certain cases, until delivery to the customer.
The target for Lerøy Seafood Group is to ensure, together with the Group’s feed suppliers, that the raw materials used in the Group’s feed are fished and harvested in an ethically sound manner and in compliance with legal frameworks, and based on sustainable harvest and fishing. In addition, the Group is actively involved in all parts of the value chain to ensure supply of safe products to the consumer.
The aquaculture industry is strictly regulated by the Norwegian authorities, which frequently visit our plants to ensure that they operate in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. Lerøy Seafood Group works continuously to satisfy all the demands of our stakeholders.
Lerøy Seafood Group currently has a large number of producers of fish and shellfish. Our audit system includes a risk analysis of producers to determine how often the individual producer is to be audited. The analysis covers risk related to product, volume purchased, customer requirements, history of complaints and audit results.
QUALITY IN THE SUPPLY CHAIN
Fish feed is the most important raw material for seafood production, and quality assurance is absolutely essential. In 2017, Lerøy Seafood Group purchased its fish feed from Biomar, EWOS and Skretting. Lerøy Seafood Group has a close gap sampling programme for re-examination of feed in terms of chemical content, dust, presence of foreign substances etc. The feed supplier carries out audits of its own suppliers, and Lerøy Seafood Group conducts annual audits of the feed companies. These measures, combined with internal control by feed suppliers and traceability, allow us to maintain control of feed content and quality.
QUALITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL CERTIFICATION
An important tool in the Group’s quality and environmental efforts is certification according to international standards. In 2013, Lerøy Seafood Group was the first company worldwide to be certified according to the ASC standard, which ensures that our aquaculture business is conducted in an environmentally sound and sustainable manner.
The Group has worked for many years to ensure high quality and has developed control systems based on GLOBALG.A.P., MSC, ASC, ISO 9000/14000/22000, BRC, IFS, Label Rouge, NS 9415 and HACCP. These standards are applied where appropriate, for example:
• Fish farming is covered by GLOBALG.A.P. and ASC certificates
• All the Group’s production plants have BRC certification
• The sales department at the Bergen headquarters is certified in accordance with ISO 9001 and the “chain of custody” for ASC, MSC and GLOBALG.A.P.
• All fish-farming production equipment is certified in accordance with the NS 9415 standard for floating fish-farming installations.
GLOBALG.A.P. (Good Agricultural Practice) – Voluntary standard for the certification of agricultural products
MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) – Sustainability standard for fish caught in the wild
ASC (Aqua Stewardship Council) – Sustainability standard for farmed fish
ISO 9000 – Standard for quality management system
ISO 14000 – Standard for environmental management system
ISO 22000 – Food safety standard
BRC (British Retail Consortium) – Quality standard with focus on food safety
IFS (International Featured Standard) – Quality and food safety standards
Label Rouge – Quality assurance in France
NS 9415 – Norwegian standard for floating fish-farming installations
HACCP (Hazard Analytical Critical Control Point) – Risk analysis principles
GLOBALG.A.P. (GOOD AGRICULTURAL PRACTICE)
Global GAP is a standard for environmental conditions covering the Group’s production activities and the employees’ working environment. The standard covers the production process from roe stage to fish slaughter.
Focus areas within GLOBALG.A.P.:
• Food safety: The standard is based on food safety criteria developed from the generic HACCP* principles.
• Environment: The standard has two parts, one for environmental protection and one for good aquaculture practice to minimise the negative environmental impact of aquaculture.
• Employees’ health, safety and welfare: The standard sets global criteria for workers’ health and safety in the production facilities, and contains guidelines for social issues.
• Fish welfare: The standard sets out global criteria for fish welfare in production facilities.
• HACCP (Hazard Analytical Critical Control Point): Risk analysis containing critical control points.
ASC (AQUA STEWARDSHIP COUNCIL)
The ASC is a certification and labelling programme for responsibly farmed seafood. The ASC has various standards compiled for fish farming, while the MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) compiles standards for fish caught in the wild. To date, the ASC has compiled eight standards, covering 12 species, all based on the same principles:
• Comprehensive legal compliance
• Conservation of natural habitat and biodiversity
• Conservation of water resources
• Conservation of species diversity and wild population through prevention of escapes
• Use of feed and other inputs that are sourced responsibly
• Good animal health (no unnecessary use of antibiotics and chemicals)
• Social responsibility for workers and communities impacted by farming
FIRST ASC CERTIFICATION
Lerøy Seafood Group has been involved in the development of the ASC standard since 2004 and was the first company in the world to offer the market salmon produced according to the new ASC environmental standard. The first three facilities in the world to gain certification according to this standard are all connected to Lerøy.
No. 1 Jarfjord - Villa Organic
No. 2 Hogsneset Nord - Lerøy Midt
No. 3 Årøya - Lerøy Aurora
The goal is to gain ASC certification for all our fish-farming facilities. By the end of 2014, all fish sold by Lerøy Aurora had ASC certification. Furthermore, Lerøy has achieved ASC "chain of custody" for its sales, distribution and value-added processing chain, and is now able to offer the Japanese, American and European markets a variety of ASC-certified salmon products.
Lerøy Seafood Group has full traceability for all products. For species produced by fish farming, such as salmon and trout, the customer can go to Lerøy Seafood Group's website, www.leroyseafood.com, to download traceability information for products sold via Lerøy Seafood AS. One example of this is the Gladlaks – happy salmon – concept, where the consumer can go to Gladlaks.no online and download information specific to the product purchased by entering the traceability code on the product packaging. The current traceability system follows a fish from roe stage to finished, packaged product. When customers log on to the system, they receive detailed information on the product throughout the entire value chain. The system provides information on fish from parent fish stage to slaughter, such as location, treatments and also quality information such as fat, colour and condition.
Lerøy Seafood Group also has full traceability for all raw materials that are part of fish stocks used by our farms. All raw materials included in an individual batch of fish feed can be traced back to the specific raw material. Species and country of origin are important data, and this tool simplifies our follow-up of raw materials and enables us to track individual commodities online at any given time.
Lerøy Seafood Group has full traceability for all products from egg/boat/trawler/purchasing station to customer. Every year, recall tests are carried out in relation to our major manufacturers. In 2017, Lerøy Seafoods AS carried out seven recall tests.
The preparedness group is made up of:
The core of the preparedness group comprises the CEO and Head of Quality & CSR. The other members are invited to meetings depending on the items to be discussed – farming, fisheries or the whitefish industry. The preparedness group has primary responsibility, both internally and externally, for communications and handling of any relevant challenges/crises. Preparedness plans are also drawn up locally.
The typical procedure for product recall consists of the following phases:
1. Written explanation of nonconformity
3. Notify manufacturer and management /preparedness team
4. Tracking product, verify nonconformity
5. Notify customers
6. Written explanation of what is to be withdrawn
8. Corrective action to prevent recurrence
Lerøy Seafood Group has compiled a directive for preparedness and product recall. The preparedness group comprises representatives from management, production, market, quality and environment.
The organisation conducts preparedness tests every year to make sure that the procedures works properly. In 2017 The Group made seven withdrawal tests. These tests involve contacting the producer about a fictional matter, tracing the products from production and identifying which customers have received the product. A risk assessment is always carried out to determine whether the product should be recalled, and which bodies are to be notified.
The Group did not have any product recalls in 2017.
Lerøy Seafood Group’s product development department is located at the Group’s headquarter in Bergen. The “One Lerøy Product development team” works through the entire value chain from the raw material to finished products in stores.
Every year, a variety of products are developed in different product groups adapted to different segments. The department cooperates with production and sales to achieve the requested products. The company's products are frequently nominated for prizes in various media/ innovation areas, and have won several awards.
Some new products in 2017:
New seaweed-based product
Our seaweed thrives in the nutrient-rich waters surrounding ethically run fish farms. The production of Mær requires no additional feeds or fertilisers. We harvest natural goodness, while protecting the source. Our packaging materials have all been chosen for their environmentally responsible qualities, while also ensuring the product reaches the consumer in perfect condition.