The decision, which ties in with a decision to market its own salmon under the same name, was made at an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) held at the company’s Bergen headquarters this afternoon. Mowi was the original name of the company that became Marine Harvest.
Shareholders representing 225,055,360 voting shares, corresponding to 43.61% of the share capital, were represented in person or by proxy.
The decision to change the name to Mowi ASA was backed by 225,029,313 votes (99.99%) and opposed by 25,943 votes (0.01%).
Marine Harvest chief executive Alf-Helge Aarskog outlined the reasons for the name change when he addressed fund managers at a Capital Markets Day at the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh last month.
“Can you launch a global brand without changing the name of the company? We have decided to go all-in,” he told the meeting.
“The future of salmon is Mowi. You can pronounce it just the way you want. This name will work and it is short. That is another reason for choosing it.”
Capitalise on heritage
Aarskog told the Edinburgh meeting said the brand name would capitalise on the company’s 50-year heritage and allow Marine Harvest to offer the transparency that consumers demand and that having control of every aspect of the production process allowed.
“Maybe we are not making history today but we are not far from it,” the chief executive told the Edinburgh meeting, adding that the initiative would allow the company to start connecting with the consumer in a way that salmon farmers haven’t done before.
Marine Harvest is investing €35 million in the Mowi brand over the next two years and aims to be making €1 billion in branded turnover by 2025. It will be launched in two un-named European locations in the first half of 2019. From 2020 there will be a continued roll-out in Europe, North America and Asia.
The range will include organic salmon, but not all the company’s organic salmon will be Mowi-branded salmon.
The branding strategy is based on health benefits, transparency and food enjoyment, and Mowi salmon will be certified to have higher levels of Omega-3.
All the Mowi-branded fish will be Aquaculture Stewardship Council-certified. This rules out Scottish farms for the time being, as MH Scotland’s use of freshwater lochs to grow smolts has prevented any of its sites being eligible for ASC approval. However, the company is confident that will change soon under a review of ASC rules.
One consequence of today’s decision is that all sponsored entities globally – such the Scotland’s Marine Harvest shinty leagues – will begin to take on the Mowi name in the future.