Established in 1963 as Albion Fisheries Ltd., Albion Farm and Fisheries is now Western Canada’s largest seafood distributor with over 3,500 products. Albion merged with Intercity Packers in 2016, which combines 100 years experience and hard work to the industry.
Albion works with many fisheries, but focuses mainly on salmon, halibut, rockfish, lingcod, and shellfish, which are sourced by fishermen from all over the world. Even though the company does not own any vessels, they are active quota traders for the fishermen they work with. Albion is not involved with any other organization, only fishers.
SeafoodX chatted with David Hounsell who works for Albion and is a very active member of the SeafoodX community. David has worked in the seafood industry for over 30 years. He began working for Albion after he was contacted personally by its owner, Con MacMillan.
Albion began as a small retail company packaging seafood. Later on, Albion rapidly grew after they included fishermen into the mix. This also allowed Albion to be, according to David, “closer to the source,” which helped them offer the highest quality products to the best profile restaurants across Canada. Initially, their ‘’Close to the Source’’ division was responsible for approximately 2% of Albion’s seafood products, but has since grown nearly 15% in the past few years. NGOs, like SeaChoice, certify Albion seafood products due to their consistent quality and sustainable fishing practices. The company also prides itself on complete transparency, allowing their customers to know where and how their seafood products are harvested. Additionally, Albion’s fishermen partners are provided fishing specializations to ensure consistency.
Albion is also the founding member of the Ocean Wise Sustainable Seafood Program, which showcases their strong belief in preserving fisheries that provide safe and high-quality seafood for future generations.
David also discussed SeafoodX’s initiative to increase transparency in the industry. He expressed that it “is hard for new guys to access quota. When you can go on a site like this where you can just access market information, it’s great.” For the new guys, he also advised looking deeper into the industry to understand what is worth getting into.
‘’Making the best decision as possible and looking into the growth areas in the industry is what I would do if I was starting over in the Commercial Fishing Industry.”
According to David, he considers the following fisheries as growth areas:
Tuna, since there is no license, it’s a growing fishery, and;
Halibut, because the value of the quota is really good.
Additionally, he also recommended young fishermen to lease quotas smartly and move gradually from there.
To reach Albion Farm and Fisheries, you can contact David Hounsell at (250) 631-9548.