New bid to celebrate what's 'Made Great in Grimsby'
MADE GREAT IN GRIMSBY: Simon Dwyer addresses Humber Seafood Summit. Picture: www.davemoss.com
By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 17 Oct 2017
NEW branding is being launched to underline Grimsby’s proud role as the UK’s seafood capital.
Wholly endorsing the added value brought by the town’s “bedrock” industry, Made Great in Grimsby is a simple message it is hoped will lodge deep in the minds of the trade, and wider consumers, as identity is given to the innovation that is exported nationally by the hour.
Simon Dwyer, a key figure behind Grimsby cluster organisation Seafood Grimsby & Humber and secretariat of Grimsby Fish Merchants’ Association, made a passionate pitch as part of Humber Seafood Summit.
Wheeling in two overflowing supermarket trolleys of seafood products that are processed in the town, from the high volume major retailer suppliers to the traditionally smoked haddock, he highlighted the sheer breadth of lines, stating he could have filled 10.
“We are truly a defined international cluster,” he told more than 150 seafood industry leaders. “We have cold storage, logistics, distribution, manufacturing of packaging and various other activities and touch points around. We have sole traders, mobile fish vans loading up with a few thousand pounds of fish and coming back with a lot more few thousand pounds. We have micro-businesses, a lot family orientated, some now moving in to larger ownership; then we have the larger guys, Young’s, Morrisons, Icelandic Seachill, Caistor Seafoods, all dealing with major retailers.
“We have 5,000 jobs, we generate well over £1 billion of revenue. We have our real niche, high-end products, our PGI smoked fish, and we have overseas investment here from Iceland, Denmark, The Faroes, Japan and the US, and we are increasingly exporting.
“Made Great in Grimsby – we are hoping we can share it with others and put that brand on all the polystyrene boxes that leave the town every week completely unbranded. If we can get that on and out, that is our message.
“If we are clever and smart, we can leverage this. If you look at the UK and the proliferation of supermarkets, on average you are never more than 10 minutes away from Grimsby processed fish. “Every major retailer, everyone, has it. If you don’t, your neighbour next door will have fish fingers in the freezer.”
It was set against a backdrop of Brexit concern, which may well have done for the previous tag-line of Europe’s Food Town.
And facing a possible labour headache should no deal be struck on free movement or concessions for industry requirements, instilling pride in the products and operations in North East Lincolnshire could have a strong impact on the home front too when it comes to filling any workforce holes.
“Grimsby doesn’t shout loud enough about itself; it understates itself. Grimsby is the key asset in the UK for the seafood sector and yet it understates itself. We need to change that. The importance of Grimsby and the global links is that piece we need to work on.”
Speaking at Cleethorpes Pier, he told how 400,000 vessels pass it annually to enter the Humber, including seafood strongholds Iceland, northern Norway Sweden, Denmark and via Rotterdam and Zeebrugge, China, stressing the fact that 90 per cent of the raw material is imported – hence the made great, rather than made in line in the early-stage logo, which features three fish in a box.
Work that came out of the Seafood Grimsby & Humber board, it was Mike Hryckowian, general manager at United Fish Industries that brought it up.
“I take pride in the fact I work in Grimsby,” he said. “I really want to try and get this Grimsby stamp on a lot of what we do so that people know that in Grimsby we produce great products. I don’t think people from Grimsby shout about it loud enough.”
Bringing it into the design of his firm’s fishmeal packaging, he said the dream would be to see the likes of Young’s – who carry the Dock Tower as part of a seascape masterbrand – Icelandic Seachill, Morrisons, Five Star Fish and the others use it.
“I would love to see it adopted,” he said. “In future it could be used for anything we produce. It could be food, it could be wind turbines, whatever. In seafood we may not produce a lot from our own raw material sources, but we bring it in and transform it into great things a lot of people eat. We could have that as a town brand.”
Mr Dwyer had last week flagged up 73 processing and packaging premises already carrying the GG source code that can be sought out by eagle-eyed customers, but it is hoped this new stamp could make it even simpler for people seeking it out.