Aquaculture for all

Ode to acquire its own cod processing plant

Cod Post-harvest Mergers and acquisitions +3 more

Norway’s leading cod farmer, Ode, has today acquired the Western Seaproducts plant from Måsøval Group, so it can harvest and process its own cod.

The Vartdal processing plant

Ode, which has ambitions to grow 12,000 tonnes of cod a year, intends to modernise the facility © Ode

The acquisition will allow Ode to complete a fully integrated value chain for cod farming: including hatchery, juvenile grow-out, farming, slaughtering, processing, sales and marketing.

The plant is situated in Vartdal, just a short distance from Ålesund, where Ode has its headquarters. The plan is to develop it into a larger, specialised and modern facility during the course of the year.

"At Ode, we have a clear strategy of being fully integrated to control quality, traceability and efficiency across the entire value chain. By acquiring the processing plant in Vartdal, we are now involved all the way from the egg to the customer, a process that takes three years, caring for our fish to end up with the best products for our consumers," said CEO and founder Ola Kvalheim, in a statement.

Ode says that it has made significant investments in production capacity and is developing an organisation that currently employs almost 150 people.

"Today marks an important milestone and step for our company with our internal harvesting and processing. In addition, we are proud to add more activity and employment in Vartdal and local communities nearby. Most of the workforce comes from the local area, which highlights its local importance," says Kvalheim.

Plans to triple production

Ode delivered just under 4,000 tonnes of fresh cod in 2023 and plans to triple the volumes to 12,000 tonnes this year, as the market is fully absorbing the growth both in Europe and around the world.

"Leading restaurants and retail chains believe in the farmed cod because consumers love the products, and the growing focus on healthy proteins produced with a low footprint. Aquaculture is becoming increasingly important, and our customers want their fair share of this megatrend. The increase in farmed cod is also crucial both for Norway's seafood activity and for customers, given the collapse in the population of wild cod in Norway and Russia," said Kvalheim.

Looking forward, Ode is ready for further growth and more investments, including expansions and upgrades to enhance its processing capabilities and offer more unique cod products.

"Ode already has everyday supply with a mix of certified whole cod and value-added cod products to a range of customers, both in retail and Horeca [hotels, restaurants and catering] mainly across the European market. Our focus going forward will be to develop markets and both packed consumer products and for the store counter and Horeca together with our existing and new customers. With more processing locally and pre-rigor quality we can offer high quality products that are unique and can open new channels and opportunities" said Kvalheim.

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