Fast growing brand
Whitby Seafoods has had the honour of being one of the fastest growing seafood brands in the UK over the last 12 months. As a result, they are now able to add an extra £3.4 million coating and frying line to their factory, off Fairfield Way in the town for which they are named.
The new line will of course need workers to run it, and they are going to expand their current workforce of 350 food jobs up to 400 people. The firm’s turnover saw a big swell last year, rising from £50 million to £53 million, and it is this profit that has been used to power the new development. Company management are calling this an “ambitious capital expenditure plan”.
The success has also seen them sign a new supply contract with Sainsbury’s, allowing them to supply their Whitby Jumbo Scampi and Whitby Dusted Calamari – with similar products seeming to enjoy an upswing in popularity amongst the British public.
Leading scampi firm
The managing director of Whitby Seafoods, Daniel Whittle, has pointed out that scampi is the most valuable catch in the UK. However, yields have been in decline in recent years – which is only pushing prices higher. The firm should be considered the expert on this particular seafood item as they process more than any other company in the UK.
Just in case you’re not sure about what scampi is – as most people aren’t – we have the lowdown. It’s made from a type of sea creature known as langoustine, or Dublin Bay prawn. They are usually caught off the coast of Ireland as they live in the North Sea, hence the name. If you’re eating the real thing, this is what you’ll be served. They are usually coated in breadcrumbs or batter and then deep fried. The preferred method of serving is with chips.
Whittle said, "As the leading processor of scampi, we have had to address the decline in fishing by paying more to the boats. This should help make the fishing effort more viable for the skippers and crew. We are also investing in other multiple activities to support the British scampi fishing industry."
By supporting supply chain jobs as well as creating more opportunities for employment at their own factory, Whitby Seafoods are certainly becoming a valuable force in the local economy. It seems that times might become hard for the scampi processer in the future if they do not look into ways to preserve and grow the numbers of scampi in the sea, however. Overfishing is a real problem that has hit many corners of the seafood industry, with population numbers able to drop off the cliff so fast that local economies based around fishing can end up devastated within a short number of years.
They also appear to be looking into ways to sustain the business into the future, making the move into markets that are starting to really blossom. They have just launched two new products for coeliacs and those who are concerned about their diets. These are Gluten Free Whitby Cod Goujons and Whitby Gluten Free Scampi. So, if our description of scampi above made you feel hungry until you read about the breadcrumbs and felt disappointed, now you have the chance to enjoy them without gluten as well.