With sales of fresh products for the Far East and the U.S. increasing at record pace, long time seafood trader Landshandilin expands its regional sourcing base while strengthening its global market reach.
At Landshandilin, a seafood trading company headquartered in Tórshavn, there is a new sense of optimism. Recent developments have seen the company broaden its supplier base into Norway and the United Kingdom alongside Iceland and the Faroes, while at the same time its sales and marketing functions have been strengthened amid fears that the independent seafood trade is under threat.
According to managing partner Finn Rasmussen, shipments to China and other parts of the Far East as well as the West Coast of the United States have increased markedly in the last few years. It took considerable efforts, however, to move the business away from dependency on domestic supplies and reach a more mature stage with a transnational web of suppliers across the North Atlantic region.
“Traditional seafood traders have come under pressure from industry consolidation and a general movement toward fewer and larger entities with tighter supply chains,” Mr. Rasmussen said. “When it comes to offering good choice and ensuring reliable delivery, we have a long and proud tradition; but when rising client demand started to exceed our supply capacity some years ago, we realized that we had to think outside the box.
“We knew we had to go beyond the Faroe Islands and Iceland for sourcing, we set up a company in Denmark for trade within the European Union, and we worked out plans to combat the monopoly like situations that were occurring in some markets. So we teamed up with producers in Scotland and were able to increase and stabilize our supply and secure the position of strength that we have built over the years. After contacts were established with seafood companies in Norway, we became able to trade in larger quantities.”
Working with Faroese salmon producer HiddenFjord has proved fruitful, according to Mr. Rasmussen.
“In the last couple of years we have helped introduce the HiddenFjord brand in California and in China and the market reception has been exceptional. People are very excited about the brand so we are working hard to keep up with demand. This is a top quality product which we believe has a huge upside potential.”
‘Keep developing’: Landshandilin has over 25 years of unbroken history in the seafood trade and the company has developed an expertise in providing fresh and frozen fish products to markets around the world.
“We’ve been in this business for more than 25 straight years and we ship thousands of tonnes of salmon, saithe, redfish and other species per year to markets in Europe, Russia, North America, Asia and elsewhere. We’ve learned a great deal during this period, but things change constantly so we are perpetual students of the trade. Remaining active in marketing and promotional activities is very important so we participate every year at industry events such as the European Seafood Exposition and the China Seafood & Fisheries Expo.”
Not long ago, Karen Lee joined Landshandilin as a sales representative. With fluency in both Mandarin Chinese and English, Ms. Lee has helped the sales team gaining an edge in markets such as China, Taiwan and Vietnam as well as the Arab Golf and South Africa, while at the same time helping consolidate the company’s positions in Germany and the U.S.
“We offer fresh fillets and portions as well as other variables of most commercial species found in the northeast Atlantic and our ability to deliver has been further enhanced in the last few years with a broadened supplier base. Most of our clients have been with us for a long time and they trust us because of our reliability. Product quality is an integral part of it and has therefore been at the core of our philosophy throughout the years, yet the volumes that we ship have generally become larger.”
Niclas Rasmussen, also managing partner in the family owned business, takes care of finance, accounting and export insurance.
“I would say we’ve seen a very positive development in the last few years,” he said.
“I think it has to do with the fact that we’ve perfected a number of operational processes but part of it, of course, is also the way we expanded our sourcing base and the strengthening of our sales team. If there’s anything we’ve learned, it’s that we need to continue to adapt to change and keep develop the business to stay competitive.”