MOWI has announced it will build a brand new, automated processing plant on the same site as the French facility destroyed in a fire last year.
The new unit at the Landivisiau, Brittany, site will replace the Marine Harvest Kritsen processing factory, with a reported investment of around 60 million euros (£52.8 million).
France will also be the next market to see the roll-out of the company’s new MOWI brand premium range salmon, which was first launched in Poland earlier this year.
‘France is one of the biggest salmon markets globally and the board’s decision ensures the continuation of Kritsen’s and Mowi’s long tradition of producing high-quality smoked products in the country,’ said the company.
‘France is also one of the most sophisticated markets with a wide range of premium products, and the high-end market for smoked salmon in France continues to grow, led by branded products.
‘Therefore, the board has decided that the next launch of the MOWI brand will take place in France.’
The new processing plant will be key in the development of the MOWI brand in France, said the company. It will offer the best conditions in terms of control over raw material, supply chain, processing and short distribution channels.
Construction of the ‘highly automated and modern smokehouse’ will begin at the end of 2019, with the first smoked salmon produced at the beginning of 2021.
The volumes produced will be 2,000 tonnes per year at the time of the launch in January 2021, to reach 3,000 tonnes in January 2022. This will lead to the retention of 166 jobs.
‘Thanks to this modern and efficient plant, we will be able to respond to the basic trends of the French smoked salmon market and meet the expectations of consumers, who increasingly prefer products of superior quality, while offering the best industrial standards, from farming to distribution,’ said Fabrice Barreau, managing director of Mowi Western Europe.