Morrisons is gearing up for a complete overhaul of its seafood category after it opens its new seafood processing site in Grimsby next month, The Grocer can reveal.

Last week, Frank Green, head of seafood trading, gave a presentation to Scottish seafood processors during which he revealed that Morrisons’ Grimsby fish factory - purchased in March - was set to open on 3 September.

Morrisons will use the site to leverage its ‘direct-to-source’ initiative and deliver better value for customers. The company also planned to “use our new site to drive better quality and fresher fish” as well as “develop social media to communicate to customers”. Its whole seafood category will be relaunched, but no timescale was given.

Morrisons has recruited a specialist whitefish buyer - due to start this month - and also Huw Thomas, a fisheries and aquaculture specialist. Filleters will be fully trained fishmongers and Morrisons’ on-site and head office fish teams will be trained in fish preparation.

In the presentation, Green highlighted Morrisons’ strong performance in key areas of fresh fish. The retailer had achieved market share of over 20% [Nielsen Scan Track 52 w/e 19 May 2012] in lesser-known species such as pouting, gurnard, dabs and John Dory. It only sold British scallops and had captured almost a quarter of the UK retail market in the past year [Nielsen].

“We are also conducting trials on labelling specific pieces of catch weight fish sold from the counter with the equivalent price per piece so customers have an idea of what the actual price will be that they pay,” the presentation stated.

Seafood Scotland said it was delighted Morrisons was seeking to increase volumes of fresh seafood from Scotland, and to widen its range of Scottish species.