Modern, trendy and growing

by Thomas Jensen

A Gadus delicatessen shop, one of 17 the company owns in Pomerania and in Warsaw.

Gadus, a fishing and processing company based in Gdynia, has grown from a small, local company to the the biggest Baltic fish producer in Poland and a leading processor of white fish selling its products on the domestic and export markets.

Gadus started in the small seaside Karwia, a town located several kilometres to the west of Władysławowo, by 19-year-old David Sztormowski. The beginning was really hard, says Mr Sztormowski, visiting fishing ports, together with my brother, we were buying the raw material, directly from the fishermen. After two years we earned enough to buy the first fishing boat and I started to hire our first employees, many of whom are still working with us.

The Baltic Sea is an important source of raw material

Over time the brothers began to serve a wider group of customers, delivering fish to processing plants and individual clients. Their goal, from the beginning, however, was to build a company whose structure would include both fishing and de

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livery of the final product to the customer. In 2001, this goal began to take shape with the founding of the fishing and processing company, Gadus Ltd., in the industrial district of Gdynia, near the container and ferry terminals. The company specialises in catches from the Baltic Sea, cod, flounder, sprats and herring. In addition, two production sites in Gdynia process every year over 18,000 tons of different types of fish (mainly Atlantic cod, Baltic cod, saithe, salmon, flounder, trout).

Gadus has a fleet of 17 vessels catching cod, flounder, sprat and herring in the Baltic Sea.

Sprat and herring are currently sold directly to Polish processors dealing with these species.

But that will change soon, when the company moves to a new processing plant with an area of over 16,000 square meters, which is being constructed at the moment. It must be remembered, says Mr Sztormowski, that the fish industry is quite specific: one not only needs to know how to sell a product, but also – what turns out to be much more difficult – how to get the raw material. Access to the raw material, unlike in other sectors, is not regular. Catches are limited, and the fishing is largely dependent on changing weather conditions. To ensure the regular supply of raw material and to be less dependent on resources from the Polish Baltic Sea, the company owners established a subsidiary in Norway, Gadus Norway, which is the owner of two packing stations in northern Norway. Located in Henningsvaer and Kongsfjord, they receive the best quality fresh fish directly from the local fishing boats, and forward it immediately, with Gadus-owned trucks, to Gdynia. With these arrangements and our long-term cooperation with other vessels operating in the north-east Atlantic, there are no gaps in our production, and the quality of raw materials and the final product is always excellent, says Dawid Sztormowski. The company is the first, and only one in Poland, involved in the snow crab fishery in the Barents Sea with three Polish ships to start fishing there this year. All the landings will be in Arctic Norway, while part of the catches will go, of course, to the Polish market.

Ready meals are a small but growing part of the company’s product range.

Products are sold through delicatessen shops and hypermarkets

The company produces both fresh and frozen products, including cod fillets, loins, as well as ready meals, such as fish dishes based on cod in sauces and packaged in modified atmosphere. The company also supplies the market with fish fingers, croquettes, dumplings, salads and sushi and is increasing the scale of its processing operations with particular emphasis on the relatively small read-to-eat category. Today Gadus’ products can be found in the hypermarkets, as well as in the seventeen Gadus’ fish delicatessens in Pomerania and in Warsaw, as well as in the most fashionable market in the Polish capital – Bazar Koszyki. Mr Sztormowski attributes Gadus success to the minute attention to detail and to the fact that every link in the value chain, from fishing with own fishing boats, through transport and logistics, to processing at the company’s facility, sales to individual customers, and distribution of the final products, is under the company’s control.

Today about 35% of Gadus’ sales are to the domestic market and the remainder is exported to several countries around the world, in the EU, Serbia, China, Thailand, Vietnam and the United States. With its focus on quality, regular supplies, and timely delivery, the list of countries Gadus exports to can only get longer over time.

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