Firstly, you were established in 1892, can you tell us a little bit about the history of Gidney Fisheries and how you got to where you are today and where you started?
Samual Gidney, the great grandfather of owner Barry Gidney, began buying lobsters from local fishermen over 125 years ago. The price of lobster at the time was around 11 cents per pound!! He exported live lobster weekly via steamship to Boston, MA.
These live lobster transactions gave birth to legacy that has been passed down through the Gidney family for four generations – and now employees a 5th generation in daily operations.
Gidney’s has grown from selling live lobster, dogfish, periwinkles, scallops, and more into a company that has seen explosive growth in HPP frozen lobster.
Why did you choose to install an HPP machine vs. a traditional cooked lobster packaging facility?
This was an easy choice for two primary reasons: 1) The HPP machine can deliver a higher quality of innovative lobster products compared to traditionally cooked lobster, and 2) there is a high demand for HPP frozen lobster in the European market, which is due to this higher quality.
In what ways does the HPP process make it a higher quality meat?
HPP lobster meat is blast frozen this eliminates the need to use any food additives or preservatives (required by cooked lobster), which keeps the flavor and nutrition intact. Since the lobster is raw frozen, it locks in absolute freshness and allows the end user to prepare the lobster in more creative ways and to their unique specifications.
Finally, Atlantic lobster meat is firm, meaty, and succulent.The intense water pressure used in high-pressure processing also tenderizes the meat which results in an end product that is more “melt-in-your-mouth” and tender rather than tough or chew.
Is HPP a more humane way of processing lobster?
Yes, the HPP process has been identified by certain animal rights groups as being one of only two ways to humanely process a lobster.
We noticed that you have a couple third party audits, BRC and an MSC certification. What do these mean to the fishery, to your customers, and to the business?
We first received our MSC Chain of Custody certification in 2017. Being part of an MSC certified supply chain is absolutely essential for many of our clients and stands to show that we’re an integral part of a sustainable lobster fishery.
Our BRCGS Food Safety certification has been a key factor in expanding our business into the retail market, as well as helping us to grow as a business internally.
Third party certifications are vital to showing you’re a serious player in the market and offer an immediate level of trust to potential clients and to the end consumer. For Gidney Fisheries in particular, these trusted third-party certifications are a confirmation of what we’ve always claimed and known about Gidney lobsters; they’re of the absolute highest quality.
There has been a lot of news coverage in the lobster industry about the native fisheries. Do you work with any indigenous groups on procurement of lobster? How can this gap be bridged (we understand that this is a complex question)?
Yes, we procure lobster from indigenous fishermen. We can only procure lobster that is caught during DFO regulated lobster seasons.
There has been a lot of consolidation in the lobster processing industry by publicly traded companies, why is it important to Gidney to be independent and family owned?
Gidney Fisheries has been family owned and operated for over 125 years. Owner and CEO, Barry Gidney, is extremely proud of this history and takes pride in supporting his family and community with economic opportunity.
What would you like the world to know about Gidney Fisheries?
Gidney Fisheries is an industry leader in HPP lobster and continues to grow our global footprint through offsite cold storage solutions.We deliver the best Atlantic Canadian lobster in both live and HPP while maintaining a family-oriented business with origins since 1892.