Of course one of the main hurdles to overcome when transporting fresh fish over any significant distance is ensuring that it arrives in the best possible condition and that means getting it through customs as quickly as possible which is where Chamber International played a huge part.
The UK’s largest independent fish and seafood supplier has just completed its first export order, with help from Chamber International.
M&J Seafood, an award-winning supplier of fresh fish to the catering trade, with branches across the UK, recently won its first contract to supply fish to the Lebanon. The order included wild UK turbot, fresh crab meat, scallop meat, monkfish and sea bass.
Ed Gravestock, international fish buyer at M&J Seafood, said: “There is great demand in Lebanon for good quality, sustainably sourced fresh fish and the customer was looking for a supplier with the expertise and credentials to help them meet that demand, which is what lead them to M&J Seafood. Although the initial approach seemed daunting any additional business, whether it be domestic or overseas, needs to be explored. And this was too good an opportunity to miss.
“Of course one of the main hurdles to overcome when transporting fresh fish over any significant distance is ensuring that it arrives in the best possible condition and that means getting it through customs as quickly as possible which is where Chamber International played a huge part.
Lydia Moi, new account executive at Chamber International, who specialises in assisting new to export businesses said: “We worked very closely with Ed on this first shipment as he needed to submit the paperwork as late as possible, but the problem with this is that you risk not being able to release the load for delivery at the other end. However, we are very flexible in the way we support businesses and give urgent shipments like this one priority. We’ll also work late hours sometimes to help exporters meet deadlines.”
The support that Ed and his team have received from Chamber International, as well as the ease with which the latter has dealt with the whole process, has prompted Ed to consider other export markets. “Taking the plunge has certainly paid off in this case as we will be shipping two consignments a week to this customer. And, now that we have a clear understanding of the process and how simple it is we will now look into other options around the world.”
M&J Seafood supplies more than 13,000 chefs across the UK including restaurants, hotels, pubs, contract caterers, education and quick service restaurants as well as supplying fishmongers and other wholesalers. It employs around 500 staff across 11 branches and operates a fleet of 185 distribution vehicles.
It was established over 30 years ago and has grown to become the UK leading independent seafood supplier and is now a member of the Fresh Direct Group.
M&J Seafood’s local and international buyers source the best of the British and international catch providing chefs with the largest range of fresh, frozen and chilled seafood in the UK. Working in partnership with Skipper’s Catch, M&J Seafood buys direct from local fishermen to ensure the customer gets the freshest catch as quickly as possible. Based in ports around the British coastline, the Skipper’s Catch team keeps up to date with who has caught what and where. They then select the finest fish and seafood landed each morning and before dawn let each M&J Seafood branch in the country know what they have secured.