Irish, French seafood companies team up

A longtime Irish seafood company is teaming up in a joint venture with two French companies, as part of an effort to bring the Irish seafood industry further into the international market.

Breizon Limited, of Connemara, Galway, a part of the Irish seafood industry for 35 years, is joining up with French partners Argis Galacsea and Les Viviers de Keroman, in Lorient, to distribute various seafood products there.

The Irish Sea Fisheries Board has extended financial support to the venture. According to a release from the board, the Irish seafood sector is doing well, with an estimated EUR 749 million (USD 968.8 million) in sales in 2011, and exports for the first half of 2012 up 20 percent compared to 2011, but more needs to be done to make Irish companies bigger players on the international scene.

‘There are 180 registered seafood companies with processing facilities in Ireland; a large proportion of these companies are small-scale operations with a turnover of between EUR 3 million (USD 3.9 million) and EUR 10 million (USD 12.9 million),” said Jason Whooley, the board’s CEO. “In contrast, our typical European competitor has a turnover in the order of EUR 50 million (USD 64.6 million). This lack of scale limits our ability to invest in the market place and maximise the profitability of the sector. To overcome this challenge, BIM has continued to work with industry this year on an ambitious business development strategy consisting of support packages and expert advice to provide capital and develop greater synergies within the sector to ensure we can compete more effectively on the international market.”

Loic Trahan, Breizon’s managing director, said he expects the new venture to be a big success in France, and pave the way for more new business there.

“My family is originally from France, so we understand what French customers are looking for when it comes to seafood,” he said.


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