Fresh fish specialist Landshandilin grows market share for Atlantic salmon in China, Russia and California — as fillets and loins of MSC certified saithe lure retail chains in Germany to place more orders and take larger volumes.
Landshandilin, one of the Faroe Islands’ leading and most experienced seafood traders, is making new advances in key markets in China, Russia, the United States and Germany. According to managing partner Finn Rasmussen, salmon products are opening new doors in major seafood markets in cities across China and Russia as well as in California, while fillets and loins of saithe are bringing in new buyers in several places in Germany.
The fresh fish specialist was recently awarded the Marine Stewardship Council’s chain of custody certificate for saithe products sourced from Faroe Origin.
The certificate of sustainability is significant in Germany, Mr. Rasmussen said.
“German consumers are concerned with issues of sustainability and ecolabels such as MSC tend to make quite a difference in buying decisions. Supermarket chains are acutely aware of such trends and we noticed an increased interest among them as soon as we had been awarded the label.”
The MSC certificate awarded to Landshandilin is linked to certificates awarded to Faroe Origin’s saithe fishery and onshore processing of saithe.
“We are actually talking about three chain of custody certificates that cover the whole process from catch and handling, to processing and packaging, to sales and logistics. We represent the third link in this chain.”
Meanwhile in Russia, aided by a new Landshandilin representative working out of Estonia, salmon orders are rising.
“We’re working with an ethnic Russian who lives in Talinn,” Mr. Rasmussen said. “She’s a Russian native speaker, skilled in many areas, and she’s making a great job. I understand that people in Russia like our salmon products, as they keep placing more orders, and keep us very busy shipping container loads over.”
In other developments, Landshandilin’s sales efforts in China as well as in California have proved increasingly successful in the last few years, not least when it comes to representing the HiddenFjord brand of salmon from the Faroe Islands.
More than 25 years: While most of the Atlantic salmon delivered by Landshandilin is farmed in the Faroes, a fairly large percentage of what is sent to the U.S. and the Far East — by airfreight via Glasgow and London—comes from Scotland and the Shetland Islands.
“Sourcing is a crucial element in this business,” Mr. Rasmussen said. “We have suppliers all over the northeast Atlantic, from Iceland to Faroe to Shetland to Scotland, and Norway, too. We have excellent connections with a number of suppliers in wild catch and in aquaculture. Sourcing is so important because it affects our business through and through—from product supply to product quality, it’s fundamental to our ability to deliver. And because top quality and delivery reliability have always been hallmarks, we have always been serious and meticulous about sourcing.
“Most of the salmon we sell is from the Faroes but sell loads of Scottish salmon as well, including salmon from the Shetlands. The Scottish products have a logistical advantage when it comes to shipments by air across the Atlantic and to Asia, as they be taken by truck to Glasgow International Airport or London Heathrow. In fact we have shipments from Heathrow on a daily basis.”
Karen Lee, a relatively new member of the sales team is playing an important part in the advances made in China. Ms. Lee, who speaks Mandarin Chinese natively as well as being fluent in English, has been based at Landshandilin’s headquarters in Tórshavn over the last three years.
“Since Karen joined our sales team, we’ve made very good progress in several markets, in particular in China,” Mr. Rasmussen said.
Landshandilin’s expertise in the seafood trade is based on decades of international experience — the company has been in the fresh fish business for more than 25 consecutive years. “We’re going to celebrate of 30th anniversary before long,” said Niclas Rasmussen, who is also a managing partner at Landshandilin. While his brother Finn focuses mostly on sales, Niclas takes care of finance as well as being involved in various aspects of the family business.
“It’s taken a while but we’ve built a system that works very smoothly,” he said. “The way we organize the business is basically about two things: one, what our clients want and two, how we can best fulfill their requirements. Then you have to find ways of turning this into a process that is continuous and can be sustained; that’s essentially what we’ve done and continue to do.”