Less than three years after opening its first fish manufacturing facility in Grimsby, Morrisons has acquired a second site in the town, increasing its available fish processing space from 35,000sq ft to more than 120,000sq ft.
The supermarket said the opening of the site, a former Kerry Foods facility which has been empty since 2012, would create around 200 jobs.
Morrisons, the only UK supermarket to own its own fish processing facility, currently produces 250 tonnes of fish a week at the existing site. It said that as well as doubling production capacity, the new site would allow it to streamline and bring efficiencies to its packing, chilling and filleting processes.
“Due to the success of our first site and the growing demand for fresh fish from our customers we are expanding our entire seafood manufacturing operation,” said group manufacturing director Mark Harrison. “Not only will we be able to supply a wider product range but we’ll also be increasing the number of skilled jobs available in the local area. The new space will mean we can manage the entire process of preparing fish ourselves and because that’s efficient we’ll be able to offer even better value to our customers.”
Fresh fish value sales last year were up 4.4% to £1.68bn [Nielsen 52 w/e 11 October 2014], although volumes fell by 4.0%. Morrisons was unable to comment on its own sales of fresh fish.