Fishes sells wholesale business
Fishes, the Dutch sustainable seafood restaurant and retail chain, recently sold its wholesale business and brand to Mayonna BV, part of the Kennemervisgroup.
Launched seven years ago by Bart van Olphen, Fishes has grown, adding restaurants as well as a wholesale arm. However, the diverse interests of the company had become too complex for the small organization to handle, according to Fishes partner Jesse Keus.
"We did not have the infrastructure to take the business forward in the way we wanted," he said. "However, we will work with Mayonna to develop the brand, and are confident that they will do great things with it."
The restaurants will remain under private control.
Fishes was the first retail and foodservice business in the Netherlands to achieve Marine Stewardship Council chain–of-custody certification in 2007.
"Sustainability has really taken off as a meaningful concept now, and there are more fisheries coming onboard every month, which is good news for us," said van Olphen.
For Mayonna, acquiring Fishes was part of natural progression. The company was one of the first in the Netherlands to adopt a sustainable procurement policy, is renowned for innovative R&D and is committed to providing high quality produce.
"We supply most of the major retailers with a wide variety of products and believe that the market segment for quality and sustainability has a lot of potential for growth," said Peter Hamaker, Mayonna director.
He is also aware that all the Dutch retailers and fishmongers have pledged to sell only fish certified as sustainable by the end of next year, which means MSC, GlobalGAP or equivalents.
"Mayonna wants to be at the forefront of sustainable sourcing, and to lead the field with the Fishes brand," said Hamaker. "We want it to be recognized as a symbol of compassion, respect for the environment and the livelihoods of the fishing communities."
The latter aspect is particularly important for the company, which is working toward the new ISO 26000 standard on social responsibility.
Fishes also recently acquired exclusive rights to supply MSC American albacore tuna in the Netherlands and is also in discussion with the MSC certified hake fishery in South Africa and expects to launch a sustainable hake product early in 2010.