Our diverse operation includes five processing sites in New
Zealand, 210 aquaculture farms and two salmon hatcheries. It is here at these
sites that our seafood is carefully harvested, prepared and packaged, ready to
be eaten and enjoyed by people all around the world.
Our Auckland fish processing plant handles significant volumes of fresh fish which are sold either domestically or airfreighted to overseas markets. Frozen snapper and trevally are the two major inshore species processed in Auckland, but we also process orange roughy and smooth dory here during periods when little fresh fish is landed.
Auckland is also where our Head Office, Marketing and Administration teams are based.
We farm and harvest approximately 1,000 tonnes of Greenshell
Mussels per year in the Coromandel area. These mussels are then processed along with
product supplied by independent and contract growers, at a joint venture
business in Tauranga through North Island Mussels Ltd (NIML). We process close
to 3,000 tonnes of Greenshell Mussels via the NIML facility – mostly half shell
product. A retail shop on site is highly rated by the public of the Bay of
Our Tauranga plant primarily processes purse seine caught varieties
such as jack and blue mackerel, kahawai and skipjack tuna, as well as some deepwater
species. The plant also carries out vessel servicing and net repairing
operations for the purse seine fleet of five vessels and two inshore trawlers.
ECS, a major coldstore operation, carries out blast freezing and cold storage operations for Sanford and a number of other major food industries in the region.
Large unpolluted deepwater Sounds, with a constant tidal flow of water provide ideal growing conditions for Greenshell Mussels. Our largest area of farms are located in and around the beautiful Pelorus Sound in the Marlborough Sounds.
As one of the largest integrated farming, harvesting and processing operations, we operate an extensive range of vessels to seed, reseed, maintain and harvest our Greenshell Mussel farms. Computer monitoring of rainfall and regular water testing ensure only the highest quality mussels are processed here.
The plant underwent a substantial upgrade in 2000, doubling its processing capacity and introducing the most up-to-date technology into our operation. The plant now has the capacity to run two nine hour shifts per day for 11 months of the year. The plant incorporates the latest half shell processing technology, which includes automated opening technology patented by Sanford. The plant processes between 14,000 and 18,500 mt per year, the majority of which is produced as frozen half shell destined for export.
Employees: 230 across the two shifts
Fish processing at Timaru is based on the catch of four ice trawlers that land mainly barracouta, red cod, arrow squid and hoki, as well as orange roughy, smooth dory and ling.
With Sanford's freezer and charter vessel fleets using Timaru as their base port, the joint venture San Won unloading and storage facility is busy all year round. Vessel and charter managers are based in Timaru with ready access to the port. Sanford and San Won provide over 8,000 tonnes of cold storage space, some of which is utilised by other companies.
Our King Salmon come from broodstock which spans over 30 years of natural selection. At breeding time, the brood are carefully transported from our salmon farm in Big Glory Bay to our hatchery in Kaitangata, where approximately 1.5million eggs are gathered and fertilised each year. They are then incubated under strict hygiene and environmental control and, once hatched, the smolt are grown in the fresh snow-fed waters of the Clutha and Waitaki rivers which border the hatchery. Of the 1.5million eggs produced, 900,000 will become premium smolt after grading.
Once they reach approximately 30 grams the young fry are (then) transferred to our Stewart Island farms, to make the transition from fresh water to salt water, just as they would in the wild.
Our processing plant in Bluff processes the King Salmon harvest from our farms in Big Glory Bay all year round for fresh exports and domestic supply. Approximately 65% of the salmon produced in Bluff is sold on the domestic market. The peak of the salmon harvest occurs in the three months between October and December, with the plant processing 4,000 fish per day and shipping out up to 20 mt of fresh product per day.
The plant also processes fish landed from independent fishermen throughout the year, with species such as blue cod, monkfish and school shark providing most of the volume. Some limited reprocessing of deepwater species also occurs during the quieter times of the year.
With its cool, clean waters, Big Glory Bay in Stewart Island provides the perfect conditions for farming our King Salmon.
King Salmon FarmingIt is here that our fish are carefully fed, nurtured and managed 24/7 for up to two years. Once they reach the desired weight of 4kg they are in perfect condition for harvest, processing, and sale to market. We harvest approximately 3,000 tonnes of King Salmon each year here, which is then processed at our Bluff plant for airfreight in fresh form or deep frozen for shipping by containers.