With responsible fishing and processing where the emphasis is on sustainable use of fish stocks and innovation, we will ensure that the fishing industry continues to be a pillar of Icelandic society. Brim’s Board and Executive Board regularly discuss sustainability in their meetings. Last spring, the board held a special workshop with the executive board and the company's employees who work on these issues. Sustainability falls directly under Brim’s CEO according to the organization chart.
Brim emphasizes good treatment of the resource. The company complies with all rules and regulations that apply to fishing and has no involvement in Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing. It is important to return the marine ecosystem in the same or better condition to future generations. The future of the company is based on that.
The United Nations Global Sustainable Development Goals were adopted by representatives of all UN member states in September 2015. There are 17 Goals, which are valid for the period 2016-2030, with 169 sub-goals and cover both domestic matters and international co-operation during the period of validity. The hallmark of the Global Goals is that they are universal and therefore the member states have committed to working systematically towards the implementation of the Goals both domestically and abroad throughout their period of validity. Brim’s policies support many of the United Nations' Global Goals, such as:
In order to dig into what can be done better in the fisheries sector and to increase understanding and trust, Fisheries Iceland held four meetings on fisheries issues in late winter 2020. The topics of the meetings were transparency, environmental issues, societal benefits and innovation. The meetings were part of the work on the industry's strategy for social responsibility and the views expressed there, both from the original speakers and the audience, were taken into account. As a result of this work, the social policy of the fishing industry was created under the motto "Responsible fisheries in harmony with the environment and society". In September 2020, Brim, along with other companies within Fisheries Iceland, signed the policy. The foreword to the policy is as follows:
"The Icelandic seafood industry takes its role as a food producer and one of the pillars of the nation's economic prosperity seriously. Companies within Fisheries Iceland have established a social responsibility policy based on the United Nations Global Sustainable Development Goals. The United Nations Global Sustainable Development Goals were adopted by representatives of all UN member states in September 2015. Reference is made to the Goals in the fisheries’ social policy. The policy will be reviewed regularly. The company’s representative who signs the policy is responsible for its implementation".
Following Brim’s approval of the Fisheries Iceland social policy, the policy was presented to the company's employees via teleconferences and in addition, informational posters were made and hung up at all of the company's operation units on land and sea. The social policy was also presented on Brim’s Workplace page, where employees are given the opportunity to exchange information and ideas on environmental and social issues.
Fisheries management in Icelandic waters depends on the Fisheries Management Act no. 116/2006. The Act is based on a catch quota system for those species that are subject to fishing restrictions. This conforms with what the international community has defined as good fisheries management at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
The government works in consultation with stakeholders to ensure sustainable use of the resource. Decisions are always made on scientific grounds. The Minister shall, on the basis of proposals from the Marine and Freshwater Research Institute, decide on the total catch quota that may be fished over a certain period from individual commercial stocks.
Fisheries management in Icelandic waters is based on three basic methods:
The Directorate of Fisheries handles the execution of laws and regulations on fisheries management and is responsible for the collection and processing of information in the fisheries sector.
Brim takes an active part in co-operation that promotes the sustainable utilization of fish stocks and responsibility towards the environment and society. The aim of Brim’s participation is to promote co-operation on the professional utilization of fish stocks within Icelandic jurisdiction and to ensure market access.
In 2011, Brim became a founding member of the non-profit organization Responsible Fisheries. The purpose of the company is to own and operate brands on responsible fishing, make and maintain agreements on certification of responsible fishing, dissemination of information on Icelandic fishing with special emphasis on buyers and consumers of Icelandic seafood and other related projects. The company's goal is to promote and maintain responsible fishing for the benefit of future generations. The company operates as a non-profit organization.
A catch rule or a similar methodology is required to apply to fisheries management in order for an IRF certification to be possible. Catches from the above-mentioned fish stocks are all regulated by a catch rule. The methodology for setting the catch rule is reviewed and confirmed by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, ICES.
All fishing by Brim within Icelandic jurisdiction from these stocks is covered by the certification of the stocks. The company's offices in Reykjavík and Vopnafjörður also have a traceability certificate which confirms that the products produced are traceable from fishing (chain of custody).
|Certified stocks according to IRF||Start time of certification||Status|
|Golden Redfish||May 2014||valid|
|Icelandic Summer-Spawning Herring||August 2019||valid|
Brim is a shareholder in ISF (Icelandic Sustainable Fisheries), a company founded in 2012 by companies in fishing, production and sale of Icelandic seafood. The purpose of ISF is to obtain certificates for fishing gear and fish stocks utilized around Iceland. ISF seeks certification according to the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard and the company's shareholders have access to the certification of the species caught in Icelandic jurisdiction.
All of the company's offices have a MSC (chain of custody) certification, which enables Brim to sell products made from MSC-certified stocks as such. The table shows the main fish species that have MSC certified fishing around Iceland.
|Fish species||Valid||Fish species||Valdid|
|Icelandic Herring||2025||Greenland Halibut||2022|
At the end of the year, there were seven vessels operated by the company that belonged to the groundfish division. The freezer trawlers Höfrungur III AK, Örfirisey RE and Vigri RE, which belongs to Ögurvík ehf. subsidiary of Brim. The wetfish trawlers Akurey AK, Helga María AK and Viðey RE, as well as one hook boat, Kristján HF, which belongs to Grunnur ehf.
Akurey and Viðey both went through alterations in the middle of the year where the third winch was added on board, which allows the vessels to fish with two trawls at the same time instead of one. The aim of these changes is, on the one hand, to better manage the catch and, on the other hand, to increase the amount caught with less oil consumption, thus reducing the negative environmental impact.
For the second summer in a row, the wetfish trawler Helga María AK was leased to the Greenland Institute of Marine Research for a research expedition that lasted from the end of May until the beginning of August. In the first half of the year and when Helga María's project ended in Greenland, it was in the company's operations.
The total catch of trawlers was 45,326 tonnes, but was 50,469 tonnes in 2019. Catch on the fishing day was 27.7 tonnes and 29.2 tonnes in 2019.
Kristján HF caught 1,100 tonnes, based on gutted catch from the beginning of May to the end of the year.
|Catch (tonnes)||Verðmæti (þús.evra)||Afli (tonn)||Value (thousands of euros)|
*Kristján from May - December 2020
|Species||Cod Barents Sea||Cod||Haddock||Saithe||Golden Redfish||Deep Sea Redfish||Greenland Halibut||Other|
|Exchange, from others/(to others)||1.067||349||(717)||(160)||155||520||(526)||(955)|
* Other are replacement pots, corrections for ice, off-quota species, repositories, vs-catch, sub-items and expiring authorizations.
Catch for processing in Norðurgarður was 14,692 tonnes, compared to 22,758 tonnes the year before. The over 8,000 tonnes reduction in quantity this year is explained by a halt to production for three months in the middle of the year when a major renovation of processing premises and equipment in the company's groundfish processing plant at Norðurgarður was undertaken.
The main changes from the old processing plant are water-jet trimming machines that cut the fillets into pieces and automatic packaging, finishing and stacking of fresh products as well as increased capacity for freezing. The entire process has been streamlined so that raw materials and products go through the entire processing process in the shortest time possible. The aim of these changes is to achieve a more balanced and better quality of products, increased utilization of more valuable products, increased productivity during man-hours and not least through improved working facilities for employees. Simultaneously, a new cleaning system was introduced, but the aim of the system is to reduce negative environmental impact by controlling the use of water and the use of cleaning products in a more targeted manner.
Kambur Seafood ehf., which is now part of the company's group, processed about 3,774 tonnes of gutted catch in the year 2020. Mostly cod but also haddock.
GROUNDFISH CATCH FOR PROCESSING (TONNES)
* Kambur from May - December 2020
Brim operated two pelagic vessels during the year and their fishing patterns were similar to 2019. The vessels' total catch was 7,143 tonnes less in 2020 than in 2019 or 81,582 tonnes, compared to 88,725 tonnes the year before. This is mainly due to poor blue whiting fishing in difficult times during the first months of the year.
Late in the year, Brim bought a 50% share in the holding company Guðrún Þorkelsdóttir ehf. The company operates the pelagic vessel Guðrún Þorkelsdóttir SU.
Mackerel fishing began in mid-June, about two weeks earlier than the previous year. Fishing ended in the first half of September, as in previous years. The whole catch was caught by the company's pelagic vessels and landed in Vopnafjörður. Fishing for the Norwegian-Icelandic herring stock began in September and ended at the end of that month.
Fishing for Icelandic herring took place in part during the summer as a by-catch with mackerel fishing, but fishing did not end until the end of the year.
Blue whiting fishing began in January with limited success due to the weather. At the end of February, the fishing started to be more successful and continued to be good well into May.
|Catch (tonnes)||Verðmæti (þús.evra)||Afli (tonn)||Value (thousands of euros)|
|Exchange, from others/(to others)||0||(83)||0||838||(8.254)||0|
* Other are catch quota transactions on the government quota exchange market, corrections due to ice content, out-of-quota species, repositories, nonattainment and expired authorizations.
The company's processing in Vopnafjörður went well in the year 2020, although a large part was missing from the processing due to capelin catch failure.
Efforts have been made to find profitable projects for the groundfish processing between pelagic seasons. The net boat Erling KE was leased for Greenland halibut fishing and the processing of the catch went very well, even though the vessel's operation did not live up to expectations.
Lumpfish was processed from March to the end of May, and experiments with the processing of other fish species gave excellent results.
Mackerel was processed from June to September and the processing went well and market conditions were favorable as in the previous year. Production of products from Norwegian-Icelandic herring then took over from mackerel in the autumn and following that, Icelandic herring was taken into processing at the end of the year. The herring market has grown even stronger since the previous year.
This year, Brim reached an agreement on the purchase of a one-third share in Iceland Pelagic ehf. from Ísfélag Vestmannaeyjar and Skinney-Þinganes. The company is a sales company that sells frozen pelagic products in foreign markets, mainly to Eastern Europe and Africa. The collaboration between Brim and Iceland Pelagic got off to a good start and there are expectations that it will increase further and add value to the business in the coming years.
The three wetfish trawlers, Akurey, Viðey and Helga María, were all in full operation during the first half of the year. This summer, alterations were made to Akurey and Viðey, where the third towing winch was installed so that it is possible to fish with two trawls. These alterations were successful and have yielded good results. The aim of these alterations was, on the one hand, to increase the amount caught with less oil consumption per tonne caught, thus reducing the negative environmental impact. In parallel with these alterations, the vessels were taken to a regular shipyard where general maintenance was carried out. Due to this, Akurey did no fishing for 8 weeks and Viðey did no fishing for over 6 weeks.
The freezer trawlers Höfrungur III and Vigri were in full operation all year round. The third freezer trawler, Örfirisey, was also in full operation, except for 6 weeks this autumn when it was in the shipyard for regular maintenance and alterations. The alterations consisted of an increase in the number of sweep winches and changes to the towing deck to increase capacity and facilitate the work of the crew when the trawler is fishing with two trawls.
There was considerable work in connection with the company's new construction in Spain, both in Iceland and in Spain. The ship was delivered in May and has been sold to a company in Greenland. After delivery, a lot of time was spent coordinating all the equipment, both the fish processing, the smelter and other equipment on the ship. The hitches that always accompany projects of this magnitude also had to be solved. This took a considerable amount of time, as it involved large and complex equipment. The ship is fully operational and has been successful in all respects and has met all expectations.
There was no capelin season during the year, same as the previous year and this had a major impact on the operation of the pelagic vessels. The capelin catch failure caused the vessels to be in port for a few weeks due to a lack of projects. Their operation was otherwise successful and both vessels are delivering what was initially planned. These powerful vessels enable the company to reach distant fishing grounds in a much safer way than before.
Emphasis is placed on selling products directly to customers abroad. Extensive knowledge of the entire value chain, from fishing to markets, is important, so that a diverse product range can be harmonized with the requirements of buyers and consumers.
The company's customers are mostly distributors or manufacturing companies and consumer products are sold both in the restaurant market and in retail under the buyers’ or retailers’ brands. The development of long-term business relationships is an important part of the company's market approach, and when selecting customers, emphasis is placed on close cooperation and access to a market that is suitable for Brims' products. Emphasis is placed on making it easy to do business with Brim and that customers always experience good service. Customers' needs are regularly assessed along with their experience of Brims’ products and services. The results are used to improve the service in order to be able to serve customers in the best possible way and as an incentive for employees to maintain a high level of customer service.
In 2020, products were sold to 31 countries, but sales to the 10 largest amounted to 85% of the sales value. The most important markets in 2020 were the United Kingdom, France, Norway, Poland and the United States. About 63% of the company's total sales value in 2020 is due to sales to these five markets. The Russian market, which has been an important market for the company's products, has been closed since August 2015 due to a ban on food imports from Iceland.
Brims' website regularly publishes news about the company's operations, in Icelandic and English, and that information is also shared through the company’s social media. The company publishes various brochures where its products are promoted, as well as news of the company's operations, both in Icelandic and English. Every year, Brim has had a large booth at the Seafood Expo Global exhibition in Brussels, which is the largest of its kind in the world. The company also participates in other important exhibitions, such as the Seafood Expo exhibitions in Boston and Qingdao. In 2020, all exhibitions in the world were cancelled due to Covid-19.
Brim manufactures and markets its products in its own packaging, under its own brand and under the brands of the subsidiaries.
As provided for by law, food and feed safety systems are the basis for the operation of all the operating units of the company. Such systems assess all the raw materials and each step of the production in light of the risks involved. These are then systematically minimised. All the products of the company are produced in accordance with these quality systems.
All the operating units are subject to the official monitoring of the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority (Matvælastofnun,MAST), which makes sure that laws and regulations are complied with. MAST’s monitoring operations are based on inspections, which in some cases are carried out without any notice.
In land-based units, these systems are based on international standards. The company’s operations in the production plants in Reykjavík and Vopnafjörður are certified in accordance with the IFS standard (International Featured Standard). This is an internationally recognised standard and one of the most used in the field of food safety. These main standards of food safety are co-ordinated under the banner of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).
The fish meal and oil plant in Akranes and in Vopnafjörður are certified according to the FEMAS standard (Feed Materials Assurance Scheme). FEMAS is an international feed safety standard for products produced for animal feed.
In 2020, the proportion of the company’s food products produced with certification from a third party with respect to international food safety standards was 65%.
|Norðurgarður - fish processing plant||IFS foods|
|Vopnafjörður - fish processing plant||IFS foods|
|Vopnafjörður - pelagic fish freezing plant||IFS foods|
|Vopnafjörður - fishmeal factory||FEMAS|
|Akranes - fishmeal factory||FEMAS|
|Akranes - pelagic fish freezing plant*|
* The production of capelin roes is not included within the scope of certification, as the season is quite short and it is difficult for the inspection parties to examine the production. No capelin fishing and/or production was carried out during the year.
There were no recalls during the year, neither due to labelling nor for other reasons. During the period covered by the report, there were no documented deviations from the company’s rules as regard the provision of information and labelling of the products of the company.
The company's certified quality systems include assessing customer satisfaction. The procedure provides for the assessment reaching customers representing at least 80% of the company’s turnover. This assessment is performed annually and was last performed in January 2021, for the year 2020. Brim has established a product quality policy that can be accessed here, Quality Policy.pdf
Brim’s fishing operations rely solely on wild stock, and the company’s products consist, in all cases, of pure and naturally healthy marine produce. Product traceability is an important part of food production. The food and feed safety system of Brim is based on being able to trace the product from its origins all the way to the customer. Detailed information on catches are recorded, such as fishing areas, fishing gear, the composition of the catch, volumes, etc. The origin of the raw materials being processed is recorded and linked to the finished product. In addition, all information on the end destination of all products is maintained. Thus, all products are traceable from the recipient back to the raw material. This traceability is tested on a regular basis by the company’s internal controls as well as by external audits of the systems of the company, including in audits relating to certifications of origin.
The products of the company are in all cases labelled in accordance with rules on the labelling of marine products. This means that it is always clear what species of fish and fishing area is involved, as well as what type of fishing gear was used.
Vignir G. Jónsson ehf. specializes in the processing of roe and is one of the largest single buyers of lumpfish and cod roe in the country.
Operating revenue for the year was €12.4 million. Operating profit was €0.4 million. Total assets at the end of the year amounted to €14.8 million, while equity was €11.1 million or 76%.
Brim owns a 100% share in Vignir G. Jónsson ehf. and the book value of the holding was €17.0 million at the end of 2020.
Ögurvík ehf. operates the freezer trawler Vigri RE.
Operating revenue for the year was €22.6 million. Operating profit was €6.0 million. Total assets at the end of the year amounted to €38.9 million, while equity was €20.3 million or 52%.
Brim owns a 100% share in Ögurvík ehf. and the book value of the holding was €101.4 million.
processing plant in Hafnarfjörður. The subsidiaries of the company are Grunnur ehf. and Stapavík hf. The company is part of the Brim Group since 1 May 2020.
Operating revenue for the period May to December was €12.9 million. Operating profit was €3.0 million. Total assets at the end of the year amounted to €26.3 million, while equity was €4.1 million or 16%.
Brim owns a 100% share in Kambur Seafood ehf. and the book value of the holding was €17.4 million.
Seafood Services ehf. is a service company that specializes in various services to the fishing industry.
Operating revenue for the year was €2.1 million. Operating profit was €0.3 million. Total assets at the end of the year amounted to €1.3 million, while equity was €1.0 million or 84%.
Brim owns a 100% share in Seafood Services ehf. and the book value of the holding was €1.8 million.
Gjörvi ehf. specializes in comprehensive maintenance services for vessels and machinery and construction work, as well as related services, both for domestic and foreign parties.
Operating revenue for the year was €0.8 million. Operating loss was €0.2 million. Total assets at the end of the year amounted to €0.2 million, while equity was a negative €0.3 million.
Brim owns a 100% share in Gjörvi ehf. and the book value of the holding was €0.1 million.
Brim owns all shares in three sales companies in Asia: Icelandic Japan KK, Icelandic China Trading Co. Ltd. and Icelandic Hong Kong Ltd.
The companies' total operating revenue during the year amounted to €107.5 million. Operating profit was €2.0 million. Total assets at the end of the year amounted to €48.4 million, while equity was €15.3 million.
Brim owns a 100% share in the companies and the book value of the holdings was €30.6 million.
Brim owns a 20% share in the holding company Deris SA in Chile. Deris owns the fisheries Friosur and Pesca Chile. The companies operate two freezer trawlers, two longliners that freeze the catch, three wetfish trawlers and one vessel for krill fishing. In addition, it operates one fish processing plant.
Deris' operating loss in 2020 was €1.2 million. The company's effect on Brim’s operations was negative by €0.2 million. The book value of Brim’s holding was €21.3 million at the end of 2020.
Late in the year, Brim bought a 50% share in the holding company Guðrún Þorkelsdóttir ehf. The company operates the pelagic vessel Guðrún Þorkelsdóttir SU. The book value of Brim’s holding was €0.001 million
In May, Brim bought a 33% share in Iceland Pelagic ehf. The company specializes in the sale and distribution of frozen seafood. Other shareholders are Ísfélag Vestmannaeyja hf. and Skinney-Þinganes hf.
Operating profits from Iceland Pelagic ehf. in the period from May to December was €1.5 million. The company's effect on Brim’s operations was positive by €0.5 million. The book value of Brim’s holding was €2.6 million at the end of 2020.
Laugafiskur ehf. operates a fish drying plant in Reykjanes and sells its products to foreign customers. The company built a powerful drying unit in Reykjanes for heads and spines produced for the Nigerian market. A new factory began operations in 2020.
Brim owns a 33.3% share in the company against Skinney-Þinganes hf. and Nesfisk ehf.
Operating profit of Laugafiskur ehf. in 2020 was €0.7 million. The company's effect on Brim’s operations was positive by €0.2 million. The book value of Brim’s holding was €4.0 million at the end of 2020.
Brim owns a share in Marine Collagen, which aims to produce gelatin and collagen from 4,000 tonnes of fish skin from Icelandic groundfish per year. Production began in the summer of 2020.
The book value of Brim’s holding was €1.0 million at the end of 2020. Other shareholders are Samherji hf., Vísir hf. and Þorbjörn hf., each with a 25% share in the company.
During the year, Brim acquired a 41% share in Þórsberg ehf. in parallel with the sale of all shares in Grábrók ehf. Þórsberg is a fishery in Tálknafjörður that operates, among other things, the hook-and–line boat Indriði Kristins BA. Since the transaction, Grábrók ehf. is a subsidiary of Þórsberg, and Grábrók operates the hook-and-line boat Steinunn BA.
The company's effect on Brim’s operations was positive by €0.3 million. The book value of Brim’s holding was €7.5 million at the end of 2020.