Belfast Telegraph

Organic fish firm nets Hong Kong deal

Chinese trade mission pays instant dividends for Glenarm Salmon

By David Elliott

Salmon from Northern Ireland will soon be served in some of Hong Kong's top hotels after a County Antrim company announced a supply deal at a specialist food show in the city.

The latest deal for Glenarm Organic Salmon will see it export its fresh salmon to China for the first time and will add to its existing Asian custom in Singapore and Thailand.

John Russell, Glenarm Organic Salmon Managing Director, said the huge potential of the Chinese market means this first dip in to the region's market is hugely important.

"The business that we are developing in Hong Kong will give us an important foothold for growth in China, an increasingly affluent market with a rapidly growing middle class with an interest in quality food from European suppliers," he said. "It's a market that we've targeted for fast growth during 2013."

He said the location of the fish farm in the cold, tidal waters of the Irish Sea help produce a "highly textured and delicious fish".

The farms are located at Glenarm Bay and Red Bay on the Antrim coast and separated by 11 miles of fast flowing seawater.

"Foodservice operators worldwide are now recognising the quality of salmon that we produce in Glenarm. We expect our sales in Hong Kong and mainland China to grow steadily over the next 12 months and beyond," he added.

Mr Russell made the announcement at a food show in Shanghai which specialises in imported food, drink and hospitality supplies called The Food Hotel China.

Invest NI has a stand at the show where Glenarm Organic Salmon was joined with the likes of Dale Farm, Linwoods and Moy Park.

Mr Russell's company is part of a 35-company-strong trade mission to China backed by Invest NI which has been travelling around the region over the last week in an effort to forge trade links and secure export contracts.

Since Monday the businesses have been joined by five ministers: First Minister Peter Robinson, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster, Agriculture Minister Michelle O'Neill and DUP junior minister Jonathan Bell.

The Deputy First Minister said: "Today's announcement is testament to the company's resilience, after the difficult circumstances Glenarm Organic Salmon experienced in 2007.

"It highlights how small local business can go from strength to strength in competitive environments, by focusing on developing niche markets and by attracting high profile customers."