The story of Flatfish actually starts back in 1979 when the Company was founded by Steven Stansfield and his father Bob, operating on the old Grimsby Fish Pontoon. By 1991 the Company was wholly owned by Steve and had moved to a single rented council owned unit in Murray Street, which was later extended to include the adjacent unit.
In 2002 the decision was made to acquire the derelict bakery which then occupied the current site and to subsequently embark on a £1 million regeneration project. This resulted in the creation of a state of the art fish processing factory complete with new cold stores, freezing equipment, computerised fish grading lines and a specialised automated flatfish filleting machine – the first part of a journey to create a company that would fulfil Steve’s vision of a company that would set the industry standard as a provider of the highest quality fresh and frozen products backed up by a unfeigned commitment to sustainability, responsible sourcing, traceability and technical innovation. This commitment has formed the core of the growing relationship with major retailers, who increasingly recognise that the issues of sustainability and sourcing of fish from responsibly managed fisheries, are an increasing concern for consumers.
It is through the development of long term and transparent relationships that have set the foundations for the success of Flatfish. Through direct engagement with people throughout all stages of the supply chain significantly within the catching sector, it has nurtured a fundamental understanding of the various issues involved at every stage. This places Flatfish in the unique position of being able to influence both catching strategies at one end of the supply chain, and product development strategies at the other.
The business has obstinately been at the forefront of promoting British flat fish species and ensuring the public are aware of the great strides that have been taken by UK fishermen in delivering prime quality fish from sustainable sources using environmentally friendly fishing methods.
Even when the economic climate has been at its most problematic, Flatfish has demonstrated both it’s ability to focus beyond the current event horizon, having the drive and determination to continually invest in both people and technology to ensure that Flatfish continues at the forefront of what is best in industry standards.
Steve continues to be enthused by the sales growth potential of fish in the UK, given the recent investment in new fishing vessels, and has set in motion the next stage of development of Flatfish by acquiring the site adjacent to the current factory, with the intent of increasing the processing capacity, whilst continuing to maintain cutting edge technical standards.