Grimsby praised for seafood drive as minister visits Saucy Fish plant
FISHERIES Minister Richard Benyon has praised the 750-strong team behind Grimsby's soaring response to the challenge to get British people eating more seafood, declaring the town a "real centre of excellence".
Taking in the massively expanded Seachill facilities, where the hugely successful Saucy Fish Co brand is based, the Conservative MP told how it was businesses with the consumer insight and ability to innovate that could spell out the health benefits of a fish diet far better than politicians.
Mr Benyon said: "I am hugely impressed. It is really important for me to see the processing side first hand, which employs thousands of people, most of them here in Grimsby, which is a real centre of excellence.
"It is good to come to a business likes this, employing a lot of local people, where it is also trying to do something really important to the Government, which is getting more people to eat more fish, while making a business successful and investing."
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Hearing how Saucy is on the way to becoming a £40 million brand and has enjoyed £1 million weekly lift of sales through its recent advertising campaign, while introducing thousands of shoppers to the chilled fish category, Mr Benyon said: "When ministers in suits stand in front of the television and tell consumers what to do, it is usually fantastically unsuccessful. When businesses that really understand their consumers work with retailers and create products that the public really want, and engage younger, busier people with delicious products, it is easy to prove how that can achieve so much more.
"My job, and that of Government, is to make it easier for businesses like this to expand; to make sure the whole supply chain is supported and make sure that Grimsby and Britain is a place where it is good to start up, run and base companies likes this."
Saucy was conceived to aid those who were not comfortable cooking fish, with foil bake bag options, while aiding convenience of those that are, by including an appropriate accompaniment with natural fillets.
Touring the huge site on Laforey Road to back national organisation Seafish's Fish Is The Dish campaign, Mr Benyon said: "This just-in- time supply chain is a piece of logistical genius. It only works because it is highly skilled and well resourced. In Grimsby, not only is there a good workforce, there is the infrastructure support and a vital organisation like Seafish."