Grimsby’s seafood industry has launched its own quality mark at the UK Seafood Summit in North Lincolnshire.
Made Great in Grimsby, complete with a three-fish emblem in black and white, is an initiative brought forward by the cluster to promote provenance and underline the role the town plays in the seafood industry.
The plan is for processors to adopt it, ideally on packs, but also to incorporate it within their identity, with labelling and logo use.
Simon Dwyer led the launch at UK Seafood Summit, with international delegates looking on at DoubleTree by Hilton Forest Pines Hotel.
Simon, who is secretariat of the Grimsby Fish Merchants Association and a key figure on the Seafood Grimsby & Humber organisation, said: “We have over 60 approved processing businesses producing hundreds of primary and secondary processed products, and this is about giving these businesses - particularly the smaller ones - more opportunity to put a brand to what they are producing.
“We have found, especially with Brexit and national media coming to us for reaction, that we are still seen as a fishing port. I don’t think we shout enough about what we do and the great products we are making.”
The phrase Made Great in Grimsby is seen as embracing the raw material import nature of the town now, with 90 per cent sourced from overseas.
“Whether it is putting prawns in a bag or an intricate value added high-end meal, we do it here, we make that product different, accessible and great,” Mr Dwyer said.
Membership is open to all in the seafood sector. JCS Fish is already on board and Alfred Enderby is also exploring the potential.
Delighted to see it launched, with embroidered baseball caps and exhibition promotion of the key facts behind it, Mike Hryckowian, General Manager of Grimsby fish meal plant Pelagia, said: “We want all who use it to benefit from increased sales as people seek it out, and long term, then, it could bring more employment to Grimsby.
"Grimsby and seafood gives me a living, and I am very proud to work in Grimsby in a Grimsby-based company. I want us all to promote it as much as possible.”
Mobile fishmongers and big brands will also be invited to use the slogan, and UK market leader Young’s Seafood is already carrying the iconic Grimsby Dock Tower as part of its masterbrand.
Rachel Appleton is the new food business adviser with town support agency E-Factor, working closely with Grimsby FMA. She said: “I think it is wonderful. We are promoting the fact we have the most amazing food and spreading the word. People need to know what we have and how proud we are of it.”
Senior buyer for M&J Seafoods Victoria Cook is proud of the home town initiative.
"It is important to do this for all the right reasons," she said. "It has always been a quite negative story around Grimsby, the downtrading of the fish landings into the town, so to see this branding makes the whole industry much more positive. It is great for reputation to have that pride, and something people can identify with."
This article and photograph originally appeared in the Grimsby Telegraph and on the Business Live website.