A family-owned Falmouth seafood company has been taken over by a major supermarket.
Morrisons has today acquired Falfish, which was established at Falmouth Docks in 1979 and is now one of the UK’s leading suppliers of chilled and frozen fish and shellfish.
It has been supplying Morrisons for more than 16 years, with the supermarket saying in a statement that it accounted for around half of Falfish’s circa £40 million turnover.
Falfish operates from two sites, a factory in Redruth that is now its head office and a smaller site now at Falmouth Docks, and is owned by the founder Ian Greet and his son Mark, who is the managing director.
Mark Greet said: “Falfish has been a supplier to Morrisons since 2004 and over the years this has become a very strong partnership.
“For my father Ian and our family, as part of the Cornish community, this acquisition ensures the continuing ethos of Falfish in upholding our relationships and values, and strengthens this for our colleagues, for the South West fishing fleet, and for all of our customers and stakeholders.
“The acquisition is great news for Falfish’s Cornish operations and the wider community, bringing investment and access to many new opportunities.”
Mark and all 140 Falfish colleagues will now join Morrisons, with the business already having long-term relationships with the owners and skippers of more than 70 partner boats in the South West who land their total catch direct to Falfish.
Falfish’s buyers also buy direct from the three key south west fish markets in Newlyn, Plymouth and Brixham.
The takeover means that Morrisons will also take on Falfish’s own 30ft trawler, the Jacqui A – which it believes makes it the first British supermarket ever to own a fishing boat.
Andrew Thornber, Morrisons manufacturing director said: “Falfish is a great fit with Morrisons; not only is it a great British company supplying high quality fish and shellfish, but they also share our passion for sustainability and for local sourcing.
“Bringing Falfish into Morrisons further strengthens our position as Britain’s biggest foodmaker. Our manufacturing operations employ circa 9,000 people at 19 sites throughout Britain, providing around 25 per cent of everything that Morrisons sells.
“The acquisition of Falfish means that over 80 per cent of our fish and shellfish will now come from our own operations.”
Falfish processes a range of 56 wild and farmed frozen and fresh seafood from British waters and the South West coastline. Its fish range includes turbot, sea bass, monkfish, Dover sole and hake and its shellfish range includes lobster, king scallops, crab, cuttlefish and whelks.
In addition to Morrisons, the company also supplies the UK restaurant trade and exports to Europe and the Far East.