June 21th, 2024 | 7:11

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MacNeil Shellfish expands its presence in Europe with a new distribution center in Bilbao

Maria Jose Gonzalez

April 23, 2024 | 7:25 a.m.

In an effort to strengthen its distribution capacity and increase its share of the European market, MacNeil Shellfish, a Scottish family business, has opened a new distribution center in Bilbao. This project, which represents the culmination of five years of planning, has involved an investment in excess of £5 million and the construction of a 3000 square meter facility.

Since its founding in 2012 by Michael MacNeil and his partner Amber Knight, MacNeil Shellfish has been dedicated to sustainable and ethical fishing, working in partnership with almost 600 local suppliers in Scotland. The company is known for its wild-caught seafood products, including crabs, lobsters and crayfish, all caught using creel trapping methods that minimize environmental impact.

The new center in Bilbao is designed to be a state-of-the-art hub that will not only improve MacNeil's operational efficiency, but will also significantly increase its distribution capabilities throughout Spain, Portugal and the rest of the European continent. Furthermore, this expansion will allow the company to increase its production and a 30% growth in business volume is anticipated by 2024, with a 10% increase in exports.

MacNeil Shellfish products are certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) ensuring their sustainable origin and providing full traceability, a growing demand among European consumers.

Amber Knight, co-owner of MacNeil Shellfish, highlighted the importance of the new center for the future of the company: «Our main mission goes beyond simply selling seafood. We are deeply committed to fostering a sustainable future for our community of suppliers, partners and employees. “The new establishment in Bilbao is a testament to our commitment to excellence and sustainability, and will not only boost our distribution capabilities, but will also strengthen our support for Scottish fishing communities.”

In addition to the expansion in Bilbao, MacNeil Shellfish has operations in the United Kingdom, Spain and Ireland and plans to extend its activities to France and the Netherlands in the near future. This expansion is part of a broader strategy to ensure a significant presence in key European markets.

MacNeil Shellfish will participate in the 30th edition of the Seafood Expo Global in Barcelona from April 23 to 25, where he will meet with global suppliers and buyers in the seafood sector, highlighting his growing influence in the international market.

This new center in Bilbao is not only a step forward in MacNeil Shellfish's expansion, but also sets an important precedent for the integration of sustainable practices at the heart of international business operations. The company continues to demonstrate that it is possible to align economic success with environmental and social responsibility.

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