Co. Louth seafood company completes €270,000 investment with support from BIM

Award-winning Co. Louth seafood company, Morgan’s Fine Fish, has completed a €270,000 investment aimed at making it more energy efficient and competitive in what is an increasingly tough market.

The investment has been supported with funding of almost €100,000 from the Brexit Processing Capital Support Scheme, implemented by BIM, Ireland’s seafood development agency.

The scheme, which will deliver up to €45 million in funding to the seafood processing sector, is funded by the European Union under the Brexit Adjustment Reserve. It was recommended by the Seafood Taskforce established by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie Monologue T.D.

Gillian Morgan, Sales Manager of Morgan’s Fine Fish, said the efficiencies the company has achieved with support from the Brexit Processing Capital Support Scheme will help it compete on a level playing field with international competition.

“We are now using premium technology to offer fresh or frozen fish products to the market. The investments we have made with the support of BIM will futureproof the company and help us remain competitive and to deliver new products.”

One of the Brexit Process Capital Support Scheme grants supported Morgan’s in introducing solar panels and replacing a 20-year-old refrigeration system to make it more energy efficient.

The company also availed of funding to invest in state-of-the-art technology to maximise the use of white fish landings, and develop value-added products for the European market place.

Morgan’s was founded 163 years ago and is thought to be the oldest fish business in Ireland. It has 80 staff and is located in a scenic rural location overlooking Carlingford Lough and the Cooley mountains.

The business started with Gillian’s great-great grandfather in 1860 who operated from the local harbour with a small fishing boat. He also bought fish from other vessels. He sold his catch from a horse and cart as far away as Monaghan and Baileborough.

Gillian’s Dad, Pat, and uncle’s Arthur and Joe, are still working with Morgan’s Fine Fish today. Joe Morgan is the main fish buyer.

Gillian says developing convenient pre-packed product is the route to success.

“Consumers can be a little bit intimidated by fish. What they want is high quality, ready to cook fish meals that they can put into the oven for a delicious meal. “ Recently Morgan’s Fine Fish was awarded the prestigious Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM)- sponsored Seafood Innovation Award at Irish food awards’ event, Blas na hÉireann, for its popular salmon darnes topped with garlic and herb butter and wrapped with Irish chorizo ribbon. The product is sold as part of Dunnes Stores’ premium ‘Simply Better’ range.

The award recognises excellence in seafood innovation through the entire supply chain from product creation to the use of process technology to developing new markets.

“We were so proud to get this award,” said Gillian. “The partnership with Dunnes has been fantastic. The award was a real example of how embracing innovation and new technologies to create fantastic new products can give a competitive advantage. And it also showed the importance of partnering with a national brand like Dunnes.”