Report on trip to Iceland

Petter Johannessen and Neil Auchterlonie journeyed to Iceland on the week of the 21st January as part of Petter’s programme of introductory meetings across the membership.  This was a great opportunity to meet with the IFFO members in Iceland and spend some time getting to know them and the industry in that wonderful country.  It was a packed itinerary, kindly arranged by IFFO Board Member Jóhann Peter Andersen of the Icelandic Fishmeal Association.  

 

We had meetings with HB Grandi, SVN, Eskja, Lodnuvinnslan, Skinney, all of whom provided fantastic Icelandic hospitality making us feel truly welcome in a wonderful country.  Peter provided a good overview of IFFO and the current position with our strategic work.  Neil presented some summary information on the technical projects.  The conversations provided some interesting detail about the Icelandic fish stocks, quota setting, raw material supply and handling, markets, quality analysis and production processes.  Iceland is blessed with access to abundant renewable energy, and it was also interesting to hear how that has been used to reduce the energy costs and emissions associated with processing.  As well as seeing several fishmeal plants, we also saw at first hand some significant investment in processing for the food sector with some impressive state of the art equipment on show.  With the trimmings going into fishmeal production, Iceland is a great study of the food and feed dynamic working in action.

 

The only downside of the trip was the cancellation of a visit to Vestmannaeyjar, which occurred after the flight aborted landing after its second attempt in a blizzard, returning us both to Reyjavik.  That in itself was a real experience of the kind of conditions the industry operates in, in Iceland, and an indication of the robustness and resilience of the people.  It was truly a fascinating trip and one where we learned more about this great industry of ours, and hopefully have helped communicate more detail about IFFO’s work to the membership. “