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Donegal Catch Supports Irish Fishing Industry With Responsible Irish Fish Partnership

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Donegal Catch Supports Irish Fishing Industry With Responsible Irish Fish Partnership

Donegal Catch Supports Irish Fishing Industry With Responsible Irish Fish Partnership
April 05
09:57 2012

Donegal Catch, Ireland’s number one frozen fish brand, has entered a partnership with Responsible Irish Fish, a group dedicated to developing a brand and label to allow Irish fishermen differentiate their products in the market place and to promote Irish fish being caught in a responsible manner. Donegal Catch is also expanding into the chilled category with the launch of its new Fish Creations range, of which the RIF label will appear on the Irish caught species (haddock, plaice and whiting) of the range.

Olivia Kearney, Donegal Catch brand manager, remarks: “Donegal Catch is proud to be supporting Responsible Irish Fish and will feature theRIF label on the Irish caught species of both the new chilled and existing frozen range, so consumers can easily identify these packs. Where possible, we source our fish in accordance with best practices to ensure the long- term viability of fish supplies in the Irish catching sector that in turn supports jobs and industry. We also feel that it is important for Irish consumers to eat more Irish species and to realise that they are supporting and protecting jobs in the Irish catching sector.”

Frank Fleming, founder of Responsible Irish Fish, comments: “Companies like Donegal Catch play an important role in the sustainability of the Irish fishing sector. The RIF label allows consumers to have confidence in the origins of the seafood that they are eating and comfort in the fact that it has been caught responsibly. We are delighted with the opportunity to be aligned and supported by a reputable quality brand like Donegal Catch.”

Research has shown that there is a growing importance, from 55% in 2007 to 73% in 2011, for consumers to buy local produce when food shopping. Donegal Catch is well placed to take advantage of this growing trend as the largest purchaser and processor of whitefish in Ireland, distinguishing itself from the competition by ensuring its haddock, whiting and plaice are Irish.

Donegal Catch has identified a demand in the market for chilled, freshly pre-packed products. Research carried out by Donegal Catch found that consumers want a range that delivers on taste, limits preparation time and is convenient to cook. Expansion into the chilled market which is worth over Eur100 million, represents an important advancement for Donegal Catch that already has a valued and trusted reputation within the frozen category.

Olivia Kearney adds: “Our research found that consumers felt daunted by the chilled category and that they needed the know-how to cook fish recipes from scratch. We felt there is a great opportunity to bring Donegal Catch, a trusted and loved brand, into this space.”

Donegal Catch is part of the Green Isle Group, which is now owned by 2 Sisters Food Group. Green Isle currently employs 750 staff of which 68 are directly employed in the fish business that operates out of Gurteen,CountySligo. Turnover for the fish business rose 5% to Eur30million for the fish business in 2011. About 30% of Donegal Catch’s fish business comes from haddock, whiting and plaice – all Irish caught species.

The main aims of the Responsible Irish Fish group behind the label are:

* to assist vessel owners achieve certification for their fish/shellfish

* to develop a brand to allow Irish fishermen differentiate their products in the market place to promote Irish fish caught in a responsible manner.

The development of an Environmental Management System by BIM, with the fishing industry, forms the basis for the new label. The EMS system can be used as a stepping stone to various forms of certification depending on the fishery a vessel is involved in.

The system implemented by the vessels is based on three main pillars:

* quality (ensuring good practice during handling and storage of the catch),

* provenance (the fish/shellfish sold under the label is fully traceable back to an Irish vessel),

* responsibility (environmental responsibility).

The Responsible Irish Fish group aims to stabilise jobs at the vessel level and to create new jobs in the processing sector by encouraging more demand for Irish caught and Irish processed seafood.

 

CAPTION:

Pictured are: Frank Fleming, founder of Responsible Irish Fish; Jamie Granger, age 5; and Tom Cronin, head of marketing at Donegal Catch.

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