Deutsche See at Fish International: flourishing as part of PP

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Fish International, the bi annual Seafood Fair in Bremen, Germany, started in 1988 as a small networking and fish promotion event, organised by local fish trader Peter Koch-Bodes. Salmon has become more important at the show in the past few years. This year it was even one of the central themes at Fish International.

For Dutch Seafood company Parlevliet & Van der Plas (PP) and subsidiary Deutsche See, Fish International is a memorable show. PP acquired Deutsche See exactly two years ago, just before the 2018 edition of the fair. The two companies had had a long term relationship before that, with PP as Deutsche See’s seafood supplier for over fifty years.

Parlevliet & Van der Plas has been attending Fish International since the very start. The Bremer fair is an important event for both PP and Deutsche See, says Deutsche See’s CEO Dirk-Jan Parlevliet.

“For PP Brussels is more important, but for Deutsche See this is the most important fair. It’s the only real seafood fair in Germany. Even with the extreme weather conditions we were facing during the it was very busy in our booth.”

Salmon farming
Salmon accounts for 35 per cent of Deutsche See’s production, with an average of 11,000 ton per year for Deutsche See, out of a total of 15,000 tonnes for PP as a whole, according to Parlevliet. PP buys this salmon mainly from Norwegian farms and a small amount in Faroe, plus wild salmon from Alaska, but doesn’t want to reveal its resources.

At this moment PP has no plans to start activities in salmon farming.

“We are investing in our new companies and in our fishing fleet. Our focus lies with our vertical integration strategy. At this moment we have no plans to expand to aquaculture,” says Dirk-Jan Parlevliet.

25 per cent of all the processed salmon is being smoked in one of Deutsche See’s two smokehouses in Bremerhaven. Most of it cold smoked, a small part is hot smoked, in the facility where also hot smoked mackerel, herring and trout are produced. Most of the salmon is produced for the German market, with the exception of a small amount that is being exported to Austria and the Czech Republic.

Vertical integration
The purchase of Deutsche See has been very positive for PP and vice versa, says Parlevliet.

“Deutsche See has become a very important part of our company. It increased our volume enormously. We still have a lot of work to do: we are investing heavily in our production companies and are working together on purchase. But all in all we are very satisfied with the integration. Its’ a huge advantage we now are specialist in every product group; sea fish, salmon, crustaceans and shrimp. We can share our knowledge and expertise, and that makes us very successful. We do things differently in both our countries and thus learn from each other.”

Fish international“Also, we use the sales channels form PP for Deutsche See,” he continues. “Using the synergy and know how is beneficial for both companies and for the group as such. The wide product range of Deutsche See and the logistics that cover the whole of Germany makes it a very valuable asset to our group.”

PP Group has grown because of Deutsche See, in all aspects. “We have 1,700 extra people working for us, from 19 locations all over Germany. At Deutsche See we have a great group of managers and a lot of know how we didn’t have before. We are a perfect fit.”

Twenty locations
Seafood supplier Deutsche See was founded in 1939 by Peter Dill and Egbert Miebach. The company was taken over by Dutch seafood company Parlevliet & Van der Plas in 2018, following the death of Egbert Miebach after a serious illness. Since then the company purchases its pelagic fish from PP’s own ships.

Deutsche See has twenty locations all over Germany, including its head office in Bremerhaven. Deutsche See is the most important seafood company in Germany, delivering retail, foodservice, restaurants and fish shops. The company has several brand names for its fish products: Deutsche See, BEECK, City Farming, Mr. Steam, Deliketten, Primtjes and Taste of Tokyo. Salmon is Deutsche See’s main product. Deutsche See has a yearly turnover of approximately 400 million euro and over 1,700 employees.

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