A Norcod farm site and inset, chief executive Christian Riber.

China contract is ‘substantial step’ towards profitability, says cod farmer


Norwegian cod farmer Norcod today announced that it has secured a contract with a Chinese distribution company for a minimum of 800 tonnes of fish, which is approximately 10% of its planned production volume for 2024.

“China represents a very exciting market for Norcod, and this contract is a substantial step for us towards creating a profitable company. We are thrilled with the reception our fish has received in the Chinese market and foresee a promising future in China, which will be an integral market for our growth strategy,” said Norcod chief executive Christian Riber in a press release.

Norcod said it has already commenced the export of fish to China and has secured placement for its products in more than 100 Metro stores in the country.

The fish from Norcod will be marketed and sold alongside and in the same manner as salmon in China. Norcod said it sees potential for a total cod market in China that rivals the size of the country’s 95,000-tonne salmon market.

Enormous potential

“That is an enormous market we potentially see ahead of us, and it is our job to capitalise on it. This agreement marks the initial step toward fulfilling those ambitions. It underscores that Norcod is on the right track,” said Riber.

Nordcod acknowledged the help of the Norwegian Seafood Council and Danish fish supplier Sirena, which is Norcod shareholder.

“Without the assistance from the Norwegian Seafood Council and Sirena we would not be able to enter a market like China in this way,” said Riber. “Now our main task is to make the most out of this agreement by delivering a quality product that the Chinese people will embrace. Then the 800 tonnes this year will increase to an even higher volume.

US and Japan

“Our aim is that this will be the first of more similar contracts. In the future we hope that Norcod will be able to enter other attractive markets like the US and Japan with our premium cod. Naturally with the same goal of profitability.”

Trondheim-based Norcod, which operates six fish farms in Central and Northern Norway, made NOK 186 million (£14.12m) in revenue in the first nine months of 2023, 56% more than the NOK 119m made in the same period of 2022, but its operating loss more than doubled from NOK 91m in Jan-Sept 2022 to NOK 188m.