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Nutaaq Season 2016


As reported earlier this year, the Nutaaq season of 2016 was off to a great start with early arrival of spring, plenty of high quality cod in the fiords and fine-tuned production flow, but how did the rest of the season go?

The 2016 cod fishing season in Greenland kept up the pace throughout the summer with abundant catches. The large volume of fish coming into the Royal Greenland factory in Maniitsoq, Greenland meant that employees had trouble keeping up. This meant that it was not possible to produce the expected volume of Nutaaq fillet. Instead, the high quality raw material was frozen as j-cut (whole fish without head and guts), which is well-suited for the refreshed market due to the high quality. At the end of 2016, only a limited amount of Nutaaq fillet is available as a consequence of the less than optimal production conditions as well as high demand throughout the year.

Introducing imported labour

In the small, isolated communities of coastal Greenland, labour shortage can be a challenge at times, especially during the summer and peak vacation time. Recently, calculations showed that Royal Greenland's Greenlandic production sites as a whole lacks 130 permanent employees and 217 seasonal workers in order to uphold optimal production and it has simply not been possible to recruit sufficiently locally. For the 2017 season, Royal Greenland has been granted permission by the Government of Greenland to use imported labour and recruitment has commenced as well as work with obtaining e.g. housing for both local and imported employees. The granted imported labour will especially be allocated to Maniitsoq and the Nutaaq production. Throughout the 2016 season, Royal Greenland has worked with the organization Nordjobb, a Nordic collaboration working on ensuring a flexible Nordic labour market by offering young people between the ages of 18 and 28 the possibility of taking seasonal work in another Nordic country, all the while offering employers motivated seasonal workers. We hope to continue this cultural exchange program in 2017.

Bringing quality up a notch

When working with brand new production methods, as is the case with Nutaaq, it is imperative to learn from experience, adapt and fine tune along the way. For the 2016 season, this meant making a few adjustments in order to further ensure a stress-free environment for the cod and greater flexibility for production. This has resulted in even higher quality end-products – white, juicy fillets free from red spots.  Read more about the production adjustments here.

Expectations for the third Nutaaq season

Projected cod quotas and catches for 2017 are at the same level as in 2016. Combined with the expected inflow of available labour for the Maniitsoq factory, Royal Greenland hopes to be able to offer even more of this high quality product when the ice breaks up and the new season begins in early 2017.

Next news: Cold water prawns – status 2016 and expectations for 2017