Fish heads for growth and exports

C Food NorwayÅlesund

Better utilisation of fish catches provided the basis for C Food Norway. Innovation Norway is now supporting the company’s development of a sustainable business model for the utilisation of fish heads.

C Food Norway has spent a lot of time on utilising the remains of whitefish for food and health products since it was established in 2013. The Ålesund company has come a long way in using fish spines and swim bladders and is in the process of developing sustainable and profitable value chains for fish heads. In many countries, it is precisely the heads that are considered the best part of fish.

“If new seafood products are to succeed in a global market, we need to learn about the cultures and food habits of other countries. Innovation Norway’s international offices are important partners for increasing companies’ market knowledge and cultural understanding. The international offices provide the necessary help when it comes to introducing products in potential markets," says Claus Opshaug, CEO at C Food Norway.

Great potential in Asia

In the project called ‘Fish Head’, the company intends to develop a new green business concept in close and long-term collaborations with suppliers, equipment producers, and customers. The plan is to produce dried, frozen, salted, and tinned whitefish heads for use in meals.

“This is an interesting and important project with great potential, especially in Asia. C Food Norway is a pioneering company in the industry,” says Kari-Anne Lade Gjørvad, customer adviser at Innovation Norway Møre og Romsdal.

Based on the risk and environmental profile in the project, Innovation Norway has provided grants for both the preliminary project phase and the main project phase. A total of NOK 4 million has been granted.

“We have also emphasised that the company is interested in being involved throughout the value chain in the development work, and that it wants to share the results that come out of the project with other relevant stakeholders in the fishing industry,” says Gjørvad.

“The financial help from Innovation Norway and its expertise and networks are critical success factors when it comes to us succeeding with our business concept in the global seafood market,” underlines Opshaug.

Growth through new products

C Food Norway was named Innovator of the Year in Northwestern Norway in 2021. It is now gearing up for growth through innovation and expanding its product portfolio. It is working with several research institutes and funding sources, both national and international, in order to realise this scaling.

The company arranges workshops in which participants from the entire value chain can take part and contribute input. It is also working on a scaling programme under the auspices of Ålesund Knowledge Park.

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