New Zealand seafood giant Sanford has had a rough ride the last 18 months.

Heavily reliant on foodservice, the company has seen costs explode and sales plummet as the screws were put on its key pipelines to market.

It also had a switch of leadership, with agriculture and general food industry veteran Peter Reidie taking the wheel from Volker Kuntzsch last April, in the midst of a global crisis.

"It's been a character-building time in terms of performance," Reidie told IntraFish.