October 22, 2020
Sealord changes market mix as pandemic bites
Sealord is expecting a tough year as it rejigs its business to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
The company, which is half owned by Māori fisheries settlement iwi, is currently facing an outbreak of COVID-19 among some of the Russian and Ukranian crew it is bringing in for two of its deep sea vessels.
Chief executive Doug Paulin says the financial year which ended in September was positive despite a poor last quarter, but he’s expecting a 25 to 33 percent drop next year.
He says the restrictions on restaurant and fast food sales in markets like Europe and Japan means it has to find other outlets for its catch.
"What we need to and are doing is looking at the markets we take those fish to, looking at privoting away from food service and taking products into retail because the retail channels, the supermarkets have had tremendous lifts, and indeed in New Zealand and Australia we are well represented in retail, Sealord has had between 25 and 30 percent growth in those channels," Mr Paulin says.
Doug Paulin says Sealord got through the lockdowns without laying off staff, and it has created more jobs, including another 30 workers for its coating factory in Nelson.
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