Foodstuffs secures independent seafood company

05 July, 2019 by
FMCG Business

Foodstuffs North Island is delighted to announce they have agreed to purchase Leigh Fisheries and their sustainably managed quota. Added to Foodstuffs’ existing quota, this acquisition will enable the 100% New Zealand owned and operated co-operative to ensure a ready supply of premium, New Zealand caught fish for New World, PAK’nSAVE and Four Square customers. Gilmours wholesale customers will also benefit.

Chris Quin, CEO Foodstuffs North Island says, “We know New Zealanders want great value, they want us to care about the environment, and they want us to bring them healthy food for their families. We’re constantly looking at new ways we can do this for our customers. So today, we’ve got some exciting news to share – we’ve signed an agreement to purchase Leigh Fisheries Ltd who are one of New Zealand’s leading independent fishing companies, with the highly regarded, premium ‘Lee Fish’ brand.

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“Leigh Fisheries is a fantastic New Zealand business with strong environmental values, a world-class brand, and a promise to guarantee customers the best quality fish on the market. Their ‘Lee Fish’ brand gives customers another compelling reason to shop with us and is an exciting point of differentiation for our seafood story.”

Dave Jose, Foodstuffs National Seafood Manager has played a key role in the Leigh Fisheries project.  As a passionate advocate for excellence in this category, Jose says, “We definitely put our best foot forward to secure this sale in the best interests of our customers. We were attracted to Leigh Fisheries for a number of reasons, not the least of which is their commitment to quality and sustainability. This purchase will better enable us to supply snapper, tarakihi, hāpuku and line-caught tuna for our customers.”

Leigh Fisheries Ltd (LFL), also known as, ‘Lee Fish’, was founded in 1958 in Leigh, New Zealand. Today, Lee Fish is still run from its historic home where they currently sell into more than 300 of New Zealand’s top restaurants and international markets.

LFL is New Zealand’s leading distributor of premium chilled fish. The company is unique in its ability to catch, process and distribute fresh fish to customers in New Zealand and across the world. Fish are caught domestically and processed at the company’s facility in Leigh before being delivered to domestic and international destinations; typically ending their journey in top restaurants less than 48 hours after they were taken from the water.

A leading supplier of longline premium chilled fish, Leigh Fisheries has one of the largest independent holdings of quota in New Zealand along with lobster and tuna allotments.

Jose who moonlights as one of New World’s fishermen in their brand campaign says, “Foodstuffs sees seafood as an essential category. “A great customer seafood experience results from quality, range and consistent supply, so the prerequisite for this is quota ownership. This acquisition further extends our ability to meet growing customer demand for fresh, premium, sustainably caught species. Our customers will get to take the seafood journey with us, as we look to unlock the story of provenance, sustainability and kaitiaki behind our quality New Zealand seafood.”

Once the deal is complete, Lee Fish will be introduced to customers instore from 1 August 2019.