Picture by Michael Cooper
Smoking in Dubai: Crawford Ewing (left), director Ewing’s Seafoods in Belfast, shows Maynard Mawhinney, Invest NI’s Director of Food and Tourism, the new smoked salmon that’s proving popular in Dubai
Ewing’s Seafoods, Belfast’s oldest fishmonger, has won its first business in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), for a new smoked salmon product developed with assistance from Invest Northern Ireland.
The company was helped to identify the UAE business opportunity by Rooney Fish in Kilkeel. Rooney Fish served the smoked salmon from Ewing’s at a recent dinner in Kilkeel for UAE customers who then placed a contract for the product from the leading Belfast fishmonger. Rooney Fish is a leading supplier of a wide range of shellfish including langoustines.
The business in Dubai was announced by Crawford Ewing, Director of family-owned Ewing’s Seafoods, and welcomed by Maynard Mawhinney, Invest NI Director of Food and Tourism, during a visit to the company’s premises at Kendal Street, Shankill Road. The company has been supplying a wide range of fresh fish in the area since 1911.
Mr Ewing, commenting on the company’s first export business for the new smoked salmon, said: “We were delighted to receive the call from Andrew Rooney to supply our new smoked salmon for their dinner and then to win business with their customers in Dubai.
“While we’ve been smoking fish in Belfast for many years in our own kiln, mostly for high quality restaurants and hotels throughout Northern Ireland, the introduction of the smoked salmon from Glenarm Organic is a relatively recent development and it’s proving to be a wonderful product that’s attracting tremendously positive feedback especially from high-end retailers and foodservice operators in Britain and abroad.
“Glenarm Organic is providing us with a really wonderful product that’s probably the best on the market.
“Invest NI, in addition, is immensely supportive particularly in terms of professional marketing and branding assistance. We’ve been helped to introduce the product successfully to potential customers in the US and Asia. Of course, there’s much more that we need to do to turn the positive feedback into new business in these competitive markets.
“We’re hugely encouraged by comments from retail and foodservice buyers about the taste, quality and texture of our smoked salmon. As a result, we believe that the market opportunity for the smoked salmon is very exciting.”
Ewing’s, Glenarm Organic Salmon, Rooney Fish and Kilhorne Bay Seafoods, Annalong recently took part in Invest NI trade missions organised to help the industry to both explore and exploit new business opportunities developing in the US and Hong Kong markets.
Mr Mawhinney said: “The new contract for Ewing’s is an excellent example of the open collaboration within the local seafood sector involving two progressive companies committed to market-led innovation.
“In addition to support to develop sales outside Northern Ireland, we’ve assisted Ewing’s to create a new corporate identity and to develop an innovative packaging both of which are strengthening its retail position in national and international markets.
“Our support for Ewing’s and other companies in the sector to encourage sales and collaboration indicates our conviction that the local seafood industry has innovative products with the provenance and heritage that customers in retailing and foodservice are increasingly demanding from their suppliers,” he added.