Foodstuffs North Island has agreed to purchase independent seafood company Leigh Fisheries and its quota. The deal will see it stocking Leigh Fisheries’ brand, Lee Fish, in-store from 1 August.
The purchase means Foodstuffs North Island (FSI) has secured a ready supply of premium, New Zealand caught fish for New World, Pak’n Save and Four Square supermarkets. It will also stock Leigh Fisheries’ products at Gilmours.
Leigh Fisheries was founded in 1958 in Leigh, located 92km north of Auckland. It’s still run from Leigh, where around 20 percent of the locals work for Leigh Fisheries. The company catches, processes and distributes fresh fish to domestic and international customers. It has become New Zealand’s leading distributor of premium chilled fish, and holds one of the country’s largest independent quotas.
FSI chief executive Chris Quin invoked Leigh Fisheries’ sustainable management as he announced the deal.
“We know New Zealanders want great value, they want us to care about the environment, and they want us to bring them healthy food for their families. We’re constantly looking at new ways we can do this for our customers. So today, we’ve got some exciting news to share – we’ve signed an agreement to purchase Leigh Fisheries Ltd who are one of New Zealand’s leading independent fishing companies, with the highly regarded, premium ‘Lee Fish’ brand.
“Leigh Fisheries is a fantastic New Zealand business with strong environmental values, a world-class brand, and a promise to guarantee customers the best quality fish on the market. Their ‘Lee Fish’ brand gives customers another compelling reason to shop with us and is an exciting point of differentiation for our seafood story.”
Foodstuffs’ national seafood manager, Dave Jose, has played a key role in the Leigh Fisheries project. He says FSI was attracted to Leigh Fisheries for its commitment to quality and sustainability, plus greater certainty of supply across particular products: “This purchase will better enable us to supply snapper, tarakihi, hāpuku and line-caught tuna for our customers.”
Jose says Foodstuffs sees seafood as an essential category.
“A great customer seafood experience results from quality, range and consistent supply, so the prerequisite for this is quota ownership. This acquisition further extends our ability to meet growing customer demand for fresh, premium, sustainably caught species. Our customers will get to take the seafood journey with us, as we look to unlock the story of provenance, sustainability and kaitiaki behind our quality New Zealand seafood.”