Opportunities to improve and innovate can come from anyone. We actively encourage staff, suppliers and others in the industry to share their ideas, knowing that we will take them seriously.

Innovation in the Market

We take every opportunity to engage with existing and potential customers to understand what they need and how we can deliver it. We also monitor international market trends and pay close attention to changing customer expectations.

Although our primary focus is on quality seafood, we also engage with a range of industry partners to service demand from new markets, including the pet food and nutraceutical industries.

Innovation in Harvesting

Sanford plays a leading role investigating, trialling and implementing new aquaculture and harvesting technologies, both in-house and with industry partners across a range of significant initiatives, including:

Precision Seafood Harvesting (PSH)
PSH is a revolutionary fishing technology that does away with traditional trawl nets to allow fish to be landed alive and in perfect condition.
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Shellfish Production & Technology New Zealand Ltd (SPATnz)
Until now, New Zealand growers of our unique Greenshell Mussels have relied on catching wild spat (baby mussels) around our coastline. Now, in a collaboration between the industry and Ministry for Primary Industries we are pioneering natural, selective breeding of our seafood superstars, so our growers have the spat they need to grow the best mussels in the world.
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Innovation in Production

Our Culture of Continuous Improvement (CCI) programme encourages innovation to improve capacity, yield and productivity. Good examples of this include our Automatic Mussel Openers (AMOs), automatic portioning line, and batching and grading systems which have significantly reduced processing costs.


As well as resourcing our own research, Sanford work with a range of external research providers, utilising government funding where appropriate, including:

  • AgResearch
  • Agricultural & Marketing Research & Development Trust (AGMARDT)
  • Auckland University
  • Bioresource Processing Alliance (BPA)
  • Callaghan Innovation
  • Cawthron
  • Food Innovation Network
  • Marlborough Research Centre
  • Massey University
  • Ministry of Primary Industries
  • NIWA
  • Plant and Food Research
  • Riddet Institute
  • Seafood Innovations Ltd
  • University of Otago