Bristol Seafood forges supplier relationship with Alaska’s Blue North, invests in Marel’s FleXicut waterjet line

Published on
January 13, 2021

Portland, Maine-based company Bristol Seafood has established a new supply partnership with Blue North, a division of Bristol Bay Alaska Seafoods, according to a 10 January announcement.

Bristol is already the largest importer and producer of Norwegian, line-caught haddock in the U.S., and also provides Alaska cod, among other offerings. The company provides an array of products featuring Alaska cod, including refreshed and frozen fillets, loins, and portions, as well as retail-ready bagged frozen portions. Its value-added My Fish Dish product line also spotlights the popular species.

Blue North Chairman and Co-founder Mike Burns credited the Bristol team for its future-focused approach, which was part of what paved the way for the association freshly formed between the two companies.

“We are very happy to become the lead supplier for Bristol Seafood of the finest Alaska cod available,” Burns said in a press release. “It’s a huge credit to the forward-thinking team at Bristol to see the value of using Alaska cod in their growing business. We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial association.”  

The Maine-based supplier processes all of its products at its Portland plant, which recently had a Marel FleXicut and sorting line installed – an investment that will “empower its [Bristol’s] team members to deliver customization and consistent quality for its customers at greater volumes,” the company said.

"As we continue to grow and our needs evolve, Marel’s FleXicut will be a crucial tool to enable our production team members to do the excellent work our customers expect from us," Bristol Vice President of Sales Michael Lodato said, “In particular, with foodservice customers increasingly seeking customized loin and portion options, and our retail customers seeing growth in demand for US-produced, ready-to-cook, and precisely-portioned items, this new production line and sourcing partnership will help us answer the call.”

According to Marel Sales Business Manager Magnus Olason, the addition of the FleXicut waterjet line will seamlessly align and expand upon with the company’s existing machinery.

“Our aim is to help our customers improve in a market which is changing at a faster pace than ever,” Olason said. “The addition of the FleXicut waterjet line to Bristol Seafood’s existing Marel investments, which include lines for portioning, batching, grading, skinning, and weighing, will allow the company to continuously improve the quality of its product and offerings and help its team members make a bigger impact than they otherwise could.”

Established in 1992, Bristol is the first seafood company in the U.S. to achieve Fair Trade certification, and was named to SeafoodSource’s Top 25 list two years in a row for its influential approaches to product innovation and sustainability/conservation.  

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