By SAM BUTLER
Ewing’s Seafoods in Belfast, the leading Northern Ireland fish and seafood retailer, has gained the highest global standard for quality food, processing and safety for consumers.
The family business, which has been processing and selling seafood to other retailers as well as leading hotels and restaurants and directly to shoppers on the Shankill Road for over a century, has just been awarded for the sixth consecutive year the British Retail Consortium’ (BRC) hugely important double A star rating, its highest certificate for a food business.
“We are thrilled to have again gained this very significant certification, the highest ever for a fish business in Northern Ireland supplying directly to food service,” says commercial director Crawford Ewing.
“BRC prescribes quality, safety and operational criteria to ensure that manufacturers fulfil their legal obligations and provide protection for the end consumer.
“It was awarded to us following the most rigorous inspection by an experienced panel of experts.
“It means all our customers in both retail and food service can now count on Ewing’s for supreme quality fish and seafood processed to the highest globally rated hygiene and safety standards.
“We are the first fish and seafood business in our sector to achieve this certification. It will be enormously beneficial as we continue to grow our business,” adds Mr Ewing.
Ewing’s now supplies major retailers such as Sainsbury’s and top chefs in over 300 restaurants with a range of fresh and processed seafood, especially its multi-award winning smoked salmon for which it has won a series of UK Great Taste Awards.
A smoked cod loin also gained three gold stars for outstanding taste and quality in the Great Taste Awards.
The company recently completed a new smokery at its Belfast plant for curing fresh and organic fish, especially its salmon and cod. It has been smoking fish since its establishment in 1911.
The delicate process involves a unique cure created by the company. Fish is smoked slowly over oak and beech wood and the processing takes around a week.
The overall investment also included a purpose-designed high care packaging facility and an extensive additional freezer.
It sources fish and other seafood from local trawlers in Kilkeel, County Down, Northern Ireland’s main seafood hub, as well as from Portavogie and organic salmon from Glenarm.
BRC was founded in 1996 by retailers who wanted to harmonise food safety standards across the supply chain. It has developed a family of standards referred to as BRC certification.