Andreas Kvarme, chief executive of Grieg Seafood, which is maintaining its harvest guidance of 100,000 gwt for 2020 despite the difficulties caused by coronavirus.

Grieg says operations ‘normal’, maintains 100,000t harvest target

Grieg Seafood, which farms salmon in Scotland, Norway and British Columbia in Canada, today announced that operations were running as normal “considering the circumstances” caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

Published Last updated

And it has maintained its harvest forecast of 16,800 gutted weight tonnes for the first quarter of 2020, and 100,000 gwt for the full year.

“So far, the salmon is harvested according to plan, and we will work relentlessly to keep our harvesting schedule also in the coming time,” the Norwegian company said in a business update about the impact of the virus.

‘Demand is there’

“The demand for salmon is there in the markets, with significant decreased demand from hotel, restaurants and catering (horeca) and increased demand from retail.

“Per now, the flow of goods between countries on trucks remains relatively good. There are currently no border restrictions on food items, including salmon.

“Airfreight is a challenge and the industry is working hard to find alternative transportation solutions.

“With farming operations located in close proximity to both the European and the US market, Grieg Seafood’s dependence on cross-Atlantic distribution is limited.”

Crisis management

Grieg said its priority was the wellbeing of its employees, their families and the local communities where it operates, and said it complies fully with the authorities’ recommendations in all locations.

“The Company has implemented measures to limit contamination, with crisis management teams operating in the head office and in each region,” added Grieg.

“The regions have conducted local risk assessments and implemented measures accordingly, such as limiting contact between shifts, hygiene measures and home office where possible.

“Companies in our supply chain have also implemented measures to avoid contamination and keep operations running safely.”

Solid finances

Grieg said it is maintaining a good dialogue with the authorities in Norway, the UK and Canada through industry organisations, discussing possible arrangements to safeguard salmon farming operations in various scenarios, such as flexibility on maximum allowed biomass (MAB) and fallow periods.

The company pointed out that it has a solid financial position, with an equity ratio of 46%.

Grieg Seafood has postponed its Capital Markets Day, scheduled for June 10. It will announce a new date at a later time.