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Composition of the Swedish seafood sector
Swedish fishing companies generated EUR 116 million in landings income in 2015. Processing companies generated an additional EUR 565 million in 2016 (Table 80).
Sweden maintained a trade deficit EUR 672 million in fish and fish products. Approximately 88% of all Swedish fish imports in 2016 came from Norway, with a value of approximately EUR 4 billion. Denmark and China were the second and third most important import markets, accounting for respectively 5% and 1% of all fish and fish product imports in 2016. Only 9.3% of the EUR 4.7 billion Swedish fish imports came from the EU.
Sweden exported approximately EUR 4 billion in fish and fish products in 2016. Its major export destinations included Poland (21%), France (17%) and Spain (9%). Exports to EU countries accounted for 98% of all Swedish fish and fish product exports. Fish exports constituted 1% of Sweden’s GDP in 2016.
There were 1,255 registered fishing vessels in Sweden in 2016, 78% of which were active (STECF, 2018). These belonged to 995 enterprises. Approximately a quarter of the fishing enterprises in Sweden owned more than one vessel. However, it should be noted that some of the larger pelagic fishing companies also only own one vessel.
Approximately 792 workers were employed in the fisheries segment in Sweden in 2015. The fish processing segment has a higher level of employment, approximately 1,662.
The pelagic fishing segment represents the majority of the Swedish fishing industry, with 85% to 90% of the volume and 60% to 65% of the value of fish caught (Paulrud, 2018).
A quarter of the fish and fish products that enter the Swedish market are sold as fresh, another quarter is sold canned. Roughly 30% of the fish products are sold as frozen. The remaining 20% is dried/smoked/salted. The majority of fish products in Sweden go to the retail market (84%). 94% of all canned fish products are destined for the retail market, the remainder is used by the food service industry. 72% of fresh fish goes to retail, 77% of frozen and 93% of dried/smoked/salted fish (see Figure 114).
On average, 66% of retailed fish products in Sweden are branded, and 9% is unbranded. 25% of all fish products are sold under retailers’ own-brand. The majority of canned products were branded (82%), compared to fresh fish with 50%. According to the available data, there are no unbranded canned, frozen of dried/smoked/salted fish products in Sweden (see Table 81).
Sweden has a comparatively large share of branded fresh fish products. An important supplier is Bröderna Hanssons with a market share of approximately 53%, followed by Lerøy Seafoods (part of Austevoll (Norway)) with a share of about 27%. In the frozen segment, the Findus brand of Nomad (UK) holds a share of approximately 39%. In the canned segment, Orkla (Norway) accounts for approximately 51% of the Swedish market, while the Falkeskog brand (part of Nordqvists Fiskexport) holds a share of around 29% of canned fish products market. Falkeskog and Lerøy Seafoods are also important brands in the dried/smoked/salted segment, accounting for approximately 36% and 14%, respectively (Paulrud, 2018).
There are six producer organizations in Sweden that are recognized by the European Commission. Two of these are specifically for local small-scale fishermen. One PO is for aquaculture. In addition, there is one PO whose members are engaged in both pelagic and demersal fisheries, and demersal and pelagic fisheries have one PO each (Table 82).
In terms of the number of members, the Swedish Fisheries Producers’ Organization (Sveriges fiskares Producentorganisation – SFPO) is the largest with 227 members. The members of SFPO are all demersal fishing companies. The Swedish Pelagic Federation PO has a smaller number of members (14), however, these all operate large pelagic fishing vessels.
This section presents an analysis of the structures of companies active in the Swedish fisheries sector. Subsection 24.3.1 presents the analysis of companies active in the pelagic segment, while subsection 24.3.2 analyses companies active in the demersal segment.
Table 83 presents the Swedish pelagic quota allocation per company as of January 2018. Six companies account for approximately 47% of all pelagic quota allocation in Sweden. Of these companies, Fiskeri AB Ginneton is the largest, holding approximately 12% of the total national pelagic quota. This indicates a high level of consolidation in the pelagic segment.
The remainder of this section will present the company analysis of the three companies with the highest values of identified pelagic quota allocation.
Fiskeri AB Ginneton
Fiskeri AB Ginneton is a Swedish fishing company. It expanded into Denmark in 2011 (Fiskeri AB Ginneton, 2018a). The company is engaged in both pelagic and demersal segments. In Sweden it owns 12% of all pelagic quota, and approximately 0.53% of the demersal quota (Havs- och vattenmyndigheten, 2018a and 2018b). In the pelagic segment, Fiskeri AB Ginneton targets herring, mackerel, sprat and sand eel. In the demersal segment it targets, among others, cod and lobsters.
In the 18-month period from 1 January 2016 to 30 June 2017, Fiskeri AB Ginneton generated a turnover of approximately EUR 10.5 million. In the 12 months of 2015, the company generated EUR 6.4 million in turnover. In 2017 the company held total assets of approximately EUR 19.1 million, up from EUR 17.7 million in 2015. Among these assets were quota valued at EUR 3.1 million, up from EUR 0.8 million in 2015. The company an average workforce of 36 employees in 2017, up from 23 in 2015 (Fiskeri AB Ginneton, 2017).
Fiskeri AB Ginneton operates three vessels: two in Sweden (78m Beinur HG 62, and 15.5m Vera C GG-210), and one in Denmark (62.6 m Ceton S-205) (Fiskeri AB Ginneton, 2017, 2018b).
The structure of the company shows that Fiskeri AB Ginneton is a horizontally integrated company. It operates in both pelagic and demersal segments and has activities in both Sweden and Denmark.
Astrid Fiske is a Swedish fishing company. The company was established in the 1950s by Leif Johansson in Sweden. His two sons, Börje and Tomas, followed his footsteps and expanded the business (Astrid Fiskeri, n.d. a). The next generation of Johanssons – Daniel, Johannes, and Kristian – passed the skippers’ exam in Skagen in Denmark. This allowed Astrid Fiske to expand into the Danish fisheries by establishing a subsidiary in Denmark, accessing Danish vessels and quota (Touza, 2016).
Astrid Fiske had consolidated turnover of approximately EUR 47.6 million in 2016, up from EUR 46.7 million in 2015. Astride Fiske had consolidated total assets of EUR 142 million in 2016, up from EUR 126 million in 2015. Of the total assets, Astrid Fiske owned consolidated quota valued at EUR 91.4 million in 2016, an increase from EUR 78.4 million a year earlier (Astrid Fiske, 2017).
In Sweden, Astrid Fiske has quota in both the pelagic segment (9% of the total national quota), and the demersal segment (0.2% of the total national quota) (Havs- och vattenmyndigheten, 2018a and 2018b).
In Denmark, Astrid Fiskeri’s share of total quota is higher:
- 14% of Danish herring in the North Sea;
- 13% of Danish herring in the Skagerrak/Kattegat area;
- 14% of North Sea sprat;
- 34% of Western horse Mackerel;
- 8% of Mackerel;
- 24% of Norway pout;
- 10% of sand eel;
- 19% of Baltic sprat;
- 8% of blue whiting (Astrid Fiskeri A/S, n.d. b).
88% of Astrid Fiske’s consolidated turnover was generated through sales outside of Sweden. However, only 30% of the company’s unconsolidated turnover was generated through sales outside of Sweden (Astrid Fiske, 2017).
Astrid Fiske group employed on average 70 employees in 2016, two more than in 2015 (Astrid Fiske, 2017).
Astrid Pelagic is not included in the consolidated financial statements of Astride Fiske. It appears to be a separate entity owned by Börje and Tomas Johannson who are the directors of the company. Astrid Pelagic describes its business activities as leasing vessels and quota to Astrid Fiske. In doing so, it generated revenues of EUR 0.6 million in 2016, down from EUR 0.9 million the previous year. Astrid Pelagic had total assets of approximately EUR 8.2 million in 2016, and EUR 8.1 million in 2015. Of these assets, the company held quota valued at EUR 167,000 in 2016, a decrease from EUR 209,000 the previous year (Astrid Pelagic, 2017).
The company structure suggests a similar pattern to that of Fiskeri AB Ginneton (see section 126.96.36.199). Astrid Fiske is a horizontally integrated company. It is active in both the pelagic and demersal segments. It is also active in both the Swedish and Danish fisheries. Similar to Fiskeri AB Ginneton, it originated in Sweden and later expanded into Denmark. One difference, however, is that Astrid Fiske is more vertically integrated. It has a processing plant and sales company through Astrid Fiskexport.
B-C Pelagic is a 50-50 joint venture between Bristol Fiske and Clipperton established in 2016. Bristol Fiske sold its shares in wholly-owned subsidiary SDQT Sweden AB to B-C Pelagic (Bristol Fiske, 2018). In turn, Clipperton sold its shares in wholly-owned subsidiary Clipperton Pelagic to B-C Pelagic (Clipperton, 2018). This formed the basis of the joint venture (B-C Pelagic, 2018). It owns the fishing vessel Clipperton (63m) that was delivered in April 2018. The vessel replaces Bristol Fiske’s fishing vessel Bristol and Clipperton’s fishing vessel Old Clipperton (FiskerForum, 2016).
Bristol Fiske is owned by the Jansson brothers. Clipperton is a Backman family enterprise. The current generation of Backmans were also trained as skippers in Skagen (Denmark), making them eligible to invest in the Danish fisheries (FiskerForum, 2016).
In the 18-month period January 2016 to June 2017, B-C Pelagic generated approximately EUR 4.1 million in revenues. As of June 2017, it held total assets of EUR 14.9 million. Of this, EUR 3.7 million were fishing rights (B-C Pelagic, 2018).
B-C Pelagic owns 9% of the Swedish pelagic quota, and a small amount of demersal quota (Havs- och vattenmyndigheten, 2018a and 2018b).
The company structure of B-C Pelagic shows that it is horizontally integrated. Bristol Fiske and Clipperton consolidated their quota onto one larger vessel under a joint venture enterprise. Currently, B-C Pelagic is only active in the fish catching segment in Sweden. However, the fact that the current Backman generation is also trained in Denmark may allow the company to expand their investments into Denmark in the future.
Table 84 presents the Swedish demersal quota allocation per company as of January 2018. Six companies account for approximately 9% of all demersal quota allocation in Sweden. This indicates that there is a low level of consolidation in the Swedish demersal segment.
The remainder of this section will present the company analysis of the three companies with the highest values of identified demersal quota allocation.
Andreas Ganefjord operates two fishing vessels: Tunafjord FG-111 and Falken II GG-777 (Havs- och vattenmyndigheten, 2018a and 2018b). In total, he owns 4.5% of Sweden’s demersal quota.
Ganefjord is associated with three entities in the Swedish company registry: Andreas Ganefjord, Älvsborg Fiskeri and Ganefjord Fiskeri (Proff.se, 2018a).
The legal entity Andreas Ganefjord is registered as a fishing company engaged in fish trawling. It was established in 2010 but has no employees or financial information (Proff.se, 2018b).
Älvsbörg Fiskeri was established in February 2018 (Proff.se, 2018c). At the time of this current research, no financial or further information was available.
Ganefjord Fiskeri was established in December 2017 (Proff.se, 2018d). It is registered as a fishing company engaged in fish trawling, and has one to four employees (Proff.se, 2018d). At the time of this research, no financial or further information was available.
Bravik Fiskeri operates one fishing vessel (Bravik GG-201). It is active in the Swedish demersal segment and owns approximately 4.2% of the Swedish demersal quota (Havs- och vattenmyndigheten, 2018a and 2018b). Bravik Fiskeri is owned by the brothers Gunnar and Christian Tullock (Figure 118).
In 2016, Bravik Fiskeri generated revenues of EUR 879,000, up from EUR 833,000 in 2015. The company owned total assets of EUR 555,000 in 2016, down from EUR 599,000 in 2015, indicating an improved asset turnover. The company employed four employees in both 2016 and 2015 (Bravik, 2017).
From the company structure and description, it is evident that Bravik Fiskeri is not an integrated company.
Västerland AB is a Swedish fishing company. It owns approximately 4% of the Swedish demersal quota (Havs- och vattenmyndigheten, 2018a and 2018b). It operates two vessels: Västerland GG-181 and Odderö SD-748 (Havs- och vattenmyndigheten, 2018a and 2018b; Västerland, 2018).
In the twelve-month period from September 2016 to August 2017 Västerland generated approximately EUR 1.2 million in revenue. In the same period the previous year it also generated EUR 1.2 million. In August 2017, Västerland had total assets worth EUR 3.9 million. The previous year it had the same value. Of these assets, Västerland held fishing rights valued at EUR 393,000 in both 2016 and 2017 (Västerland, 2018).
As Figure 119 shows, Västerland is also the majority shareholder of a company that leases fishing equipment. With its two vessels, Västerland shows a small degree of horizontal integration.
The analysis of the Swedish fishery sector shows that there is a higher level of structural integration in the pelagic than in the demersal segment. This is confirmed by Peter Olsson of the SFPO. The trend is in line with the trend in other countries. Structural integration in the Swedish pelagic segment is primarily horizontal and international (Olsson, 2018). Swedish fishing companies are buying a lot of vessels from Denmark, Germany, the Baltic States and Finland (Olsson, 2018; Claeson, 2018). Companies from those countries do not often invest in Sweden. Half the Danish pelagic quota is owned by Swedish companies (Olsson, 2018). Likely due to earlier consolidation in the pelagic segment, only one pelagic fishing company owns more than one pelagic vessel in Sweden (Fiskeri AB Ginneton, 2018). Both Astrid Fiske and Fiskeri AB Ginneton have expanded into Denmark, while B-C Pelagic seems to be prepared to do so as a number of its shareholders have trained to be skippers in Denmark – a prerequisite for investing in the Danish fisheries.
The Swedish pelagic sector also experiences informal integration (Olsson, 2018; Claeson, 2018; Paulrud, 2018). Companies make offtake arrangements at the beginning of the year before they go out fishing. In contrast, in the demersal sector all fish goes to the auction. Quota swaps, renting, leasing and borrowing are also common, though usually done through the POs (Claeson, 2018; Paulrud, 2018).
According to Olsson, integration has had little impact on prices, company performance, competition within the sector or employment. However, one effect of the introduction of the ITQ system in the demersal segment in 2017 is that the older vessels stay in the harbour. The newer vessels use the quotas from the older vessels. Access to quota is not very difficult as the price of a vessel with quota is not high these days (Olsson, 2018).
Claeson reports that horizontal integration has had a positive impact on company performance. The quota system and the horizontal integration have improved the efficiency of fishing efforts as it makes it possible for the fishermen to catch greater loads on fewer trips. This in turn minimises the use of the boats and diesel, thus reducing the costs and increasing overall profitability. Before the introduction of the ITQ system, the boat had to be in use all year around to make a living. Claeson also states that the fleet size has decreased since the introduction of the ITQ system (Claeson, 2018).
Paulrud of the SPF similarly states that fleet sizes have decreased since the introduction of the quota management system. Since the Swedish Parliament took the decision to introduce the Quota system in 2009, the pelagic fleet has decreed from 84 to around 30 vessels. The effect has been higher profitability and gains for the environment and for the fish stocks. Moreover, Paulrud argues that the introduction of the ITQ system has led to positive reactions from fishermen, even those that sold their licences. This is seen to be primarily tied to the fact that the quotas are issued regionally. Consequently, this has not caused the disappearance of the industry in certain regions, but instead preserved it through higher profitability. He adds that the introduction of the quota management system has resulted in many younger people becoming interested in working in the sector (Paulrud, 2018).
According to Olsson, the fleet is too small nowadays. Fishing is badly managed from the political side. There is space for more boats, illustrated by the fact that SEK 1 million worth of quotas are left unused. In the Baltic Sea, only 50% of the Swedish quotas are actually fished. The reason for fewer vessels is not that quotas have decreased in recent years (Olsson, 2018).