Morrisons becomes first supermarket to own its own fishing boat after it acquires Falfish

Morrisons has today acquired Falfish in a move it says will allow the supermarket to offer a better range of fresh fish and seafood.

The Bradford-based supermarket has bought the family-owned wholesaler of sustainably sourced seafood based in Cornwall, which has been a supplier of fresh fish and shellfish to Morrisons for over 16 years.

Approximately 50 per cent of Falfish’s circa £40 million turnover is with Morrisons and the firm also owns a 30ft trawler, the Jacqui A, which means that Morrisons will, we believe, become the first British supermarket ever to own a fishing boat.

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A spokesperson said: "For customers, the acquisition will mean further improvements to the range, quality and availability of fresh fish and shellfish at our Market Street counters and represents another significant investment in fresh food and foodmaking when others are retreating from counters. Following the deal over 80 per cent of Morrisons fish and shellfish - both in our 497 stores and in our online business - will come from Morrisons wholly owned seafood operations."

Morrisons has acquired the Cornish business.

Falfish operates from two sites in Redruth and Falmouth docks on the south Cornish coast and is owned by the founder Ian Greet and his son Mark who is the Managing Director.

Mark Greet and all c. 140 Falfish colleagues will join Morrisons. The business has long-term relationships with the owners and skippers of over 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.

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 c. 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.”

Morrisons has acquired Falfish.

Mark Greet, Falfish’s Managing Director, 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.”

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. Falfish’s customers include Morrisons, the UK restaurant trade and significant exports to Europe and the Far East.

Squire Patton Boggs advised Morrisons on the acquisition, with lawyers Hannah Kendrick and Louise Parker providing the counsel.