Albion Fisheries upgrades operations

Published on
January 20, 2013

Richmond, B.C.-based seafood distributor Albion Fisheries recently moved its operations to a new state-of-the-art facility in Richmond.

The USD 20 million facility and technology upgrade expands Albion’s head office and distribution/processing facilities to 65,000 square feet, from 48,000 square feet at its previous facility in Vancouver.  

Integral in the upgrades is a new computer system with bar code tracking, that allows traceability for all of its fresh seafood.

“We recognize a real strong focus on traceability: not just for sustainability, but also for food safety. We are now able to trace each individual case from its source,” said Guy Dean, VP of import/export for Albion.

The distributor has been progressively growing its sustainable seafood selection, and now around 50 percent of its SKUs are certified sustainable.

“Our core focus is sustainable seafood. Our ongoing goal is to convert that every year and find sustainable options for species that are non-sustainable. For example, there are just not enough sustainable options out there for core items like prawns,” Dean said.

As a result, Albion executives have worked to support certain land-based aquaculture produced species in recent years. “We have made some inroads with Atlantic salmon, Arctic char, steelhead trout and sturgeon,” Dean said.

Albion also supports fishery improvement projects that will help preserve fisheries in the future. “For example, we worked with a wild salmon center over the last couple of years: they are trying to get the Russian sockeye salmon to a better spot,” Dean said.

The company’s new facility allows for improved processing of fish for its client base, which is split evenly between supermarket chains and other retailers and the foodservice industry in Canada. The new building was designed with its carbon footprint and the environment in mind, according to Dean. “We use a water management system that collects some of the water for non-food purposes and we installed a thermal plastic roof, which doesn’t create those heat traps in buildings,” Dean said.

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