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Costco supplier Foppen ready to take markets by storm

With two upgraded processing plants, a range of new products and the advice of a former Marine Harvest and Klaas Puul exec, it is ready for the next growth phase.

Dutch salmon and shrimp processor Foppen is planning to conquer the UK and southern European markets with a range of "high-end" products and concepts, Wilbert Vedder, commercial director at the company, told IntraFish.

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To help it achieve the goal it got former Marine Harvest and Klaas Puul exec Maiko van der Meer on board, who will be consulting for the family-run firm.

Vedder said it aims to introduce barbecue and tapas salmon and shrimp concepts to the markets. "I think the market is ready for it," he said.

The company, which has processing facilities in The Netherlands and Greece, has an overall production capacity of 20,000 metric tons of salmon.

In addition, it processes 2,000 metric tons of mainly wild-caught shrimp, a segment it also aims to expand in The Netherlands, Vedder said.

Peter Wiggelinkhuijsen, purchasing manager at Foppen, told IntraFish at the 2016 show in Brussels the company invested €10 million ($10.7 million) into expanding its two factories.

In Holland, the company bought a neighboring plot of land to expand the fresh salmon line at its existing factory in Harderwijk.

The Greek facility saw a doubling of its production space.

Works have since been concluded, Vedder said. "We have the capacity to expand [sales into new markets]; we're ready for the next step."

US market potential increasing

The United States, with Costco as a major client, remains a growth market, Vedder said.

"Foppen keeps conquering the retail market in the United States," he said.

The company has a dedicated sales office in the country, and is working with a basic assortment is switches up every six months.

Vedder believes there's further room for growth -- with new product concepts.

Commenting on the volatile salmon price situation, he said Foppen "is operating on the upper side of the market not at the discount level."

Only about 10 percent of its overall sales come from discount clients. "But it's still a fight every day," Vedder said.

He declined to share the turnover figure but said with the increase in prices and volumes it has been growing every year -- and will keep doing so.

With a mix of innovative products, a stringent focus on food safety, Vedder believes, Foppen will be able "to take them [old and new markets] all."

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