Fish money should help make smoky a brand hit
GRIMSBY'S protected traditional smoked fish is to benefit from European and industry funding to promote awareness and increase sales.
A kitty of £60,000 will be used to develop a brand identity, interactive website and co-ordinate attendance at a series of specialist food events for the lovingly and skillfully prepared seafood.
The aim is to improve consumer awareness of the traditional smoking method and enhance the profile of the niche industry in the UK's high-end retail and food service markets.
The project has come about through collaboration of key industry partners across the supply chain, including Grimsby Fish Merchants' Association; Alfred Enderby; Sealord (Caistor) Ltd; Seachill; John Ross Jr; Coln Valley; The Smokeyard Artisan Smokehouse; Arbroath Smokies and The Fishmongers Company.
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The project is led by the Grimsby Fish Merchants' Association on behalf of the wider UK-wide industry group.
Chief executive Steve Norton said: "Traditionally smoked fish is a fantastic product that is often overlooked and undervalued by the consumer. This project will highlight the positive benefits and attract a new, younger consumer to a wonderful versatile product that is part of Britain's food heritage."
The project is supported financially by the European Fisheries Fund (EFF), administered by the UK's Marine Management Organisation, and the Seafish Industry Project Fund.
Julie Snowden, project manager at Seafish, which has its English headquarters in Grimsby's Humber Seafood Institute, said: "It is great to be able to support this unique product and creative initiative that will encourage the consumer to consume more seafood, which we are always striving to achieve."
As reported, more than a decade's work went into achieving the Protected Geographic Indication for Grimsby's traditionally smoked white fish. Richard Enderby, the second generation smoker at Alfred Enderby's iconic premises on the town's docks, spearheaded the campaign, which the Telegraph was proud to announce the success of on page one in October 2009 under the headline "EU BEAUTIES!".
At the time we reported how Grimsby had finally secured its place on the culinary map of Europe with the European Union acknowledgement and legally binding criteria to carry the name.
Mr Enderby was keen to make the most of the designation then, and while the Archbishop of Canterbury famously blessed it, now that push will be stepped up.
Catherine Murphy, EFF England programme manager, said: "The EFF panel was delighted they were able to support this project. Funding is still available and I would urge anyone thinking about applying to get in touch."
The delivery partners responsible for developing a successful campaign are Lincolnshire companies Design By Distraction and Blue Spire Design. Co-ordinating the project on behalf of the FMA is Liz Baghurst, of Grimsby's Seafox Management Consultants.
The programme starts now and runs until December next year.