Production has come to an end for the summer at the Samherji fish processing plant in the port of Dalvík in the north of Iceland, ending an eventful year of activity since the factory started up in August last year.
‘Over the last year we have had to cope with Covid and all the restrictions that came with it, just as we were opening a new factory packed with new technology,’ said a Samherji spokesman.
‘At the same time, the staff had to learn how to use new systems and to become familiar with this new technology. Due to the pandemic, it hasn’t been possible to bring in support in the usual way, and no outside specialists have been inside the factory for months.’
Despite coping with the learning curve and the pandemic, the new factory has broken all records, processing 16,500 tonnes of raw material over the last year. The previous record for production in Dalvík was set in the old factory in 2018, when it processed 15,000 tonnes.
The bulk of the last year’s production has been cod, plus there has been more haddock among catches than in previous years.
‘In spite of Covid affecting markets around the world, we have bene able to maintain sales at acceptable prices. Our main customers are large retailers in Europe. The new technology has allowed us to adjust to changing markets and to supply customers with the products they want, when it’s most convenient for them,’ Samherji’s spokesman said.
Now that the Dalvík factory shuts down for its summer break, production is restarting at the ÚA factory in nearby Akureyri, where staff are returning after a four-week break.
‘This arrangement, keeping at least one of the factories running, means we can supply customers all year round. That’s a vital element of the food business today.’