NORWEGIAN salmon farmer Kvarøy Arctic is managing to send ‘a lot of fresh products’ to its American customers, said CEO Alf-Goran Knutsen.
The small, family owned company has isolated each of its five sites so they work separately from each other, but people are ‘adapting to the new reality’, said Knutsen in a live broadcast posted on the company’s Facebook page today.
‘These are difficult times and there are things we have to do to make sure we can produce the salmon and stay healthy,’ he said, speaking from a workboat at one of the farm sites.
The fish are fed from land, with all operations kept apart, and there are challenges harvesting and processing the salmon.
‘But at the moment, everyone is doing a helluva job to get the salmon out there. In Norway, we’re into week three now of lockdown, the same as many European countries, but we’re still managing to get the salmon over the borders and over to the market.
‘In the beginning, it was, of course, chaotic but now it’s going more and more into normal conditions. We are trying as hard as we can to make sure that everything is going smoothly.’
Knutsen said it seemed that salmon was one of the products customers wanted so his company would do its best to keep the flow going into the US.
‘It is very important in these times to remember that food is something we have to continue to produce so we are taking our responsibility and doing the best we can.’
As well as sending fresh salmon to the US, Kvarøy Arctic, based on Kvarøy Island in Nordland county, is also freezing fish to make sure there is a constant supply, ‘even if we have problems with logistics’.
The company’s sales and logistics teams are all working from home and people are adapting to being connected and holding meetings online, even though the situation is difficult.
‘We have been doing a lot of live events since this happened and we’re going to continue,’ said Knutsen.
He said he would carry on updating customers every week on what’s happening on the farm, so they can see that ‘everything is okay’.
And Kvarøy is also working with chefs and customers, while it’s difficult to get fish from restaurants, to teach people how to prepare fish from home.
‘In Norway, we make a lot of fish at home, but I guess in the US it’s more common to eat salmon when you go to a restaurant,’ said Knutsen.
‘But we’re trying to do our bit to help everyone learn how to cook salmon in the best possible way.’
Watch Alf-Goran Knutsen’s broadcast here https://www.facebook.com/KvaroyArctic/