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Devon Seafood Company Plans 1m Expansion

UK - A Devon seafood company is looking forward to moving into new markets after work to extend its factory was completed. Paramount 21 Ltd, based in Newton Abbot, recently received the keys to its new fry line extension which was made possible following help from the European Fisheries Fund (EFF).

Through the EFF scheme the company received 40 per cent towards the cost of the £1million expansion project, which means it can now extend its product range to offer pre-fried, breaded and battered products to the food service and retail markets.

The new 957 square metre development has increased the floor space of the factory by 59 per cent and was specifically designed to house new flash-frying equipment, also bought as part of the project. As a result of the expansion the company aims to increase its 58-strong workforce by 10 per cent and also hopes to increase production by 125 tonnes to achieve a £7m turnover in 2011.

Managing Director, Ali Hannaford said: “Our expansion would not have happened without valuable support from the European Fisheries Fund.

“Before the extension we were often approached by customers asking for pre-fried fish products but we weren’t able to meet this demand.

“Breaded fish products usually require the end user to fry in their kitchen before being presented as part of a meal. However pre-fried food can be cooked in rapid ovens, as preferred by many in the hospitality industry.

“We’re looking forward to being able to develop new ranges made possible by this additional capacity. This frying line will enable us to extend our range of added value fish products like fish cakes, goujons, battered seafood and West Country whitebait fillets.”

The new extension also offers additional space that can be used for freezing large quantities of fresh fish, which could also be of benefit to the South West economy, as Mr Hannaford explains: “I’m passionate about using locally sourced produce wherever possible and much of our fish comes from the South West. The sprats used to make our whitebait fillets are landed at Brixham for example.

“The area offers good opportunities for buying high quality fresh fish in commercially viable quantities, however this can often be on a seasonal basis and a lot of the fish caught locally is shipped elsewhere for processing. I hope that in the future we can use this capacity to process more fresh fish from local sources.”

Over £4m has been made available through Axis 2 of the EFF programme for investments in the processing and marketing of fishery products in England. Projects which produce high quality products for niche markets, produce or market new products or market products mainly sourced from the local area can be considered for funding under the scheme.

the Fish Site Editor

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