New Zealand fishing companies Moana New Zealand and Sanford have announced their plans for a long-term arrangement involving Sanford’s North Island inshore fishery.
The agreement, subject to approval from the New Zealand Commerce Commission, will see Moana acquire Sanford’s Annual Catch Entitlement (ACE) for a significant portion of its North Island inshore species. Moana will take over the catching, processing, and selling of fish utilising this ACE.
The largest Māori-owned fisheries company in Aotearoa, Moana has a proven track record of success in inshore operations and expertise in perishable supply chain management and is well positioned to handle the additional catch and processing volumes.
Attributing their achievements to the dedicated team behind the operations, CEO Steve Tarrant said, “We’re extremely proud of our inshore whānau who hold a wealth of knowledge, experience, and expertise right across the supply chain. This, coupled with strong in-market partnerships has ensured the ongoing success of Moana New Zealand in inshore fisheries.
“This additional capacity provides opportunities for Māori beyond just fishing. It brings scale which will enable investment in innovation and science that align with our values of kaitiakitanga and manaakitanga and that’s exciting.”
Sanford’s agreement with Moana stems from a comprehensive review aimed to turn around its North Island inshore operations, CEO Peter Reidie said.
“The long-term agreement with Moana will enable them to fish and process inshore species to scale in the North Island. Sanford’s North Island inshore operations represent a relatively small part of our business, but this proposed deal will reduce the negative impact these operations are currently having on Sanford’s bottom line.”
As part of the deal, Sanford will transfer two of its North Island-based fishing vessels and a selection of processing equipment. Additionally, Sandford plans to close its processing plant in Auckland but efforts will be made to offer employment opportunities to affected staff.
“It’s critical we retain industry knowledge and expertise, which is why we support people affected by welcoming them to our Moana whānau where possible,” said Tarrant.
Sanford said the welfare of its staff has been a central consideration in the drawing up of the agreement with Moana, but the welfare of the fishery was also front and centre.
“Moana shares our values around sustainable fishing. We have worked with them in the past on several environmental projects and advances in fishing technology, so we know their emphasis on kaitiakitanga and fishing for the future. Sanford retains its fishing quota in this agreement and with it our interest and involvement in the fishery.”
Sanford’s auction operations and its Sanford & Sons retail business will continue to operate, supported by Moana.
The settlement is expected to be finalised later in 2023, pending the fulfilment of necessary conditions.