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MSC certified Greenland halibut in a market perspective


In some markets the blue MSC label is a key sales parameter. As a result of the recent MSC certification for Offshore Greenland halibut catch in West Greenland, Royal Greenland will be able to offer this versatile species to markets where MSC certification is key. Product Manager for Greenland halibut in Royal Greenland, Annette Gaarde, explains: “I believe that the MSC certification for offshore fishery for Greenland halibut in West Greenland will be a door opener for new MSC conscious markets.”

German renaissance for Greenland halibut

Greenland halibut is well known in the German market, where the smoked version enjoys popularity in foodservice as well as retail. Serving plain Greenland halibut used to be a favored delicacy, but today the specie is only occasionally spotted on menu cards.
Managing Director in Royal Greenland Germany, René Stahlhofen explains: “Due to increased focus and demand for MSC certified fish, in particular from retail, the Greenland halibut has had difficulties to uphold its solid position as a favored fish.”
It is René Stahlhofen´s prediction that the MSC certification will help to reposition the Omega-3 rich fish in the German market. The first positive feedback has been recorded from both retail and foodservice customers, who are ready for a Greenland halibut renaissance, he states.

Greenland halibut, an exclusive specie in UK foodservice

In Royal Greenland UK, the news about MSC certification for Greenland halibut has been well received. Managing Director, Randall Jennings, explains: “In the last years, we have seen an increasing demand for the broad range of fish Royal Greenland offers. In particular the Greenland halibut seem to appeal to the UK preference for boneless, white meat. Adding a range of MSC certified Greenland halibut fillets will make us interesting to an even broader range of customers.”

Royal Greenland serves foodservice and retail customers across UK. For MSC certified Greenland halibut it is Randall Jennings prediction that most demand will come from foodservice, where customers appreciate its delicate, white and juicy meat. Together with species like Monkfish, Black cod and Sea bass, Greenland halibut has moved into middle and upper class restaurants in the UK. These restaurants demand exclusive alternatives to the traditional UK-pub species Cod, Haddock and Plaice, Randall Jennings explains.

“From some of UK´s biggest pub and restaurant chains we have received requests. They have shown interest because of the high quality of our Greenland halibut, its taste and its origin from the pure, clean waters of the North Atlantic and Artic Oceans.”

Approaching Swedish introduction

The Swedish market is highly committed to sustainable food, and MSC is almost a prerequisite in retail.
For Royal Greenland the newly obtained MSC certification for Greenland halibut means that the species can be introduced on the Swedish market.

Managing Director for Scandinavia, Pär Kadziolka explains: “Greenland halibut is a new species to the Swedish consumers. Until now professional food buyers have not paid much attention to our Greenlandic halibut because of the missing MSC certification.”

Swedish retail buyers have already shown interest in Greenland halibut in their premium range, consisting of e.g. Atl. halibut, Perca and Skrei-cod.

Pär Kadziolka says: “We are eager to be first movers for MSC certified Greenland halibut in Sweden, and we are sure that the product - smoked or non-smoked - fits well into the retailers’ current assortment as a premium product.”

Next news: Greenland halibut – stable quotas and first MSC products