Icelandic factory trawler Tómas Þorvaldsson GK 10 recently completed its record-breaking trip in the North Atlantic. This 67-meter vessel, owned by Thorbjörn hf. in Grindavik, joined the company´s existing factory trawler fleet last year, after which Thorbjörn bought and installed onboard a new M700 filleting machine with combined M825 skinning solution from Vélfag.
Tómas Þorvaldsson docked last week after 34 days at sea with a green weight catch of 752 tonnes valued at ISK 336 Million (€2.15. million).
"The M700 filleting machine and the combined M825 skinning machines performed exceptionally well! The broad conveyers and bigger skinning units made everything run efficiently, and the big saithe ran as smooth as silk through the machine.” said skipper Bergþór Gunnlaugsson.
Fish processing machines from Vélfag have an excellent track record both at sea and onshore, processing hundreds of thousands of tons through the years. It is no coincidence that Icelandic freezer trawlers process 63% of their valuable Icelandic cod quota with filleting machines from Vélfag. In addition to that, European, UK, Russian, and Norwegian companies put their trust in Vélfag's solutions. The productivity is exceptionally high, returning excellent yield and fillet quality.
Vélfag skinning equipment users can expect maximum durability and increased yield. Fewer employees are needed to produce as fillet infeed can be self loading if used in combination with all types of filleting machines from Vélfag.
We congratulate the crew and Thorbjörn on harvesting the fruit of this recent year´s significant investments, and persistent efforts. We wish them the best of luck and good fishing in the future.
The Vélfag team hopes you and your loved ones are healthy and safe at this time.
Our number one priority is the safety and wellbeing of staff and customers.
We are following the Health and Social Services sectors issued instructions for the general public and businesses to encourage safety, health and happiness.
The Vélfag team is taking precautions in all aspects of commerce to ensure the continuation of ventures in a safe manner. We wanted to say thank you for your support and understanding during this time of change.
Our deepest sympathies go to those who are directly affected by the outbreak.
We send our best wishes for your health and safety as we work through this together.
This week our M725 machine was delivered from Vélfags head office space to its new home; Samherji´s brand new state of the art fish processing facility in Dalvík.
Vélfags M725 will be at the core of the new processing plant. Vélfag is a natural fit for Samherji, as both companies take a forward-thinking approach to the industry.
The installation of machinery of such high technological levels as M725 makes Samherji one of the most advanced companies in groundfish processing in the world.
Samherji has long been in the forefront in the fisheries sector, largely due to their approach of advancing and using technology in their part of the value chain in fishing, land-based processing, and utilization of raw materials. This ambitious project, and the state-of-the-art technology it introduces, will likely advance their position as a leader in the industry.
Vélfags newest Fully computer controlled M725 machine is designed to fillet large white fish (20kg+), enabling our customers to produce clean, high-value fillets that are otherwise sold far below their profitability potential. Along with our proprietary filleting process and TakeControl operating system, the machine sets a new industry standard.
Vélfag produces the majority of parts that make up our fish processing machines themselfs, everything from knifes to nuts and bolts.
Vélfags production team is still going strong in Ólafsfjörður, but as the company has recently expanded in Akureyri, production has also started up within the new facilities in Baldursnes 2.
Vélfag has invested in brand new milling and lathe machines to produce the parts needed for creating the entire Marin line.
Machines VM 6030L and SL 8II are welcome additions to the Vélfag family. The machines were designed by Milltronics USA.
After arrival, the Vélfags team worked to position the machines while Milltronics technicians made sure that startup went as smoothly as possible.
Both machines are now in regular use and are proving to be a great company investment!
Vélfag was founded in 1995 by husband and wife Bjarmi Sigurgarðarsson and Ólöf Ýr Lárusdóttir in the small town of Ólafsfjörður in North Iceland. After years of working on and around fishing vessels, they were convinced that new materials coupled with the latest technology would further enable fish processors to increase the utilization, yield and quality of each catch.
From producing better solutions for Baader machines, to building the worlds first stainless steel filleting machine, to selling 97 machines to customers based in 11 different countries, Vélfag has come a long way from the early days of spare part construction in the family garage.
It just shows that a great idea along with a passion for growth and a little elbow grease can positively change the lives of many!
Below is a collection of pictures, news articles and published interviews about Vélfags achievements over the past 25 years.
Vélfag has been working with Murman Seafood in Russia setting up a filleting line within their brand-new processing plant. Everything is coming together after over a year of hard work from all parties involved.
Vélfag is very proud of the work we have done in Russia, and grateful for the opportunity to work with Murman Seafood.
Vélfag has been working along-side Valka ehf. throughout construction to create a one-of-a-kind processing line for Murman Seafood.
Other parties that have been working for and with Vélfag on this project include:
N.Hansen, Slippurinn, Ingvi Óskarsson, Schmidt Innovation, Arion Banki, Raftákn, B&R and numerous other companies and individuals that made it all possible.
A news story was broadcast on national Russian television yesterday about the project. The Governor of Andrey Chibis visited the site and was interviewed along with other prestigious Russian heads of departments and technicians working on making the processing plant a reality.
Investments in the real sector of the economy
(translation of the Russian news broadcasting).
A new fish processing plant has been built in the region. Production workshops are located in Kola.
Today the governor of the region Andrey Chibis went for a visit.
Adjustment of equipment that has been installed is at the final stage. The final consultations for the companies who have been working on this project loom ever closer. Leading companies from five countries took part in the creation of the production line.
The Icelandic companies Vélfag ehf. and Valka ehf. are the companies that provided the majority of the processing line within the factory.
Icelanders contact states; they know a lot about fish.
Consultant Dushan Markovich (from Valka): “That's all we have: fish and tourism. Iceland is the best. Therefore, we make the best equipment. For our best partners from Russia and Murmansk.”
Correspondent Vladimir Kostrov: "This fish processing line evokes associations with some kind of science fiction film. By the way, does the seat resemble a chair in Vesti broadcasting studio. Oops.
What will happen at this particular workplace?"
Production manager Konstantin Mironenko: "Here people will modify the fillet. Remove the bones that remain after cutting. And the monitors display the work done at each table."
Jobs are the main social component of the new investment project, especially for the residents of Kola and Murmansk
The head of the administration of the Kola region.
Alexander Likholat: “About three hundred places at the end, when we start the entire cycle. And the average wage of a worker is about 60 thousand rubles. This is the level for us. Somewhere next to NOVATEK.”
The company that owns the plant has its own fleet at its disposal, so there will be no problems with raw materials. They intend to supply ready-made frozen and chilled fish products both abroad and to the wholesale markets of Russia. Not to mention the local counters. The producer is a regular participant in the Our Fish project.
Director General of the fishing company Vladimir Khizhnyakov: “A company store will be made. Separately, especially for this product. And not only for this one. We still have a factory in Rosta, we still have something and everything we produce - come, buy. Not at store prices, no trade margins."
The cost of the investment project is more than two billion rubles. It was implemented as part of the state program to support the modernization of the fish processing industry.
Governor of the Murmansk region Andrei Chibis:
"It is fundamentally important that this processing plant - in the territory of the Murmansk region, which provides jobs, investments and taxes. It is clear that in order to start this production there are a number of infrastructure problems. Now we will quickly help our colleagues solve them "
In the near future, the first batch of raw materials will be delivered to the fish processing complex in Kola to start production in test mode. It is expected that the plant will give the first batch of marketable products in February.
FAO published the following results in their 2018 report of the state of world fisheries and aquaculture.
It is clear to see that most of the world relies on fish as an important protein source. The majority of European and American countries consume over 20kg of fish per year, and the majority of countries with the most fish consumption per capita is in northern Europe and SE Asia.
It also bears to mention that fish is the primary protein source for 1 in 5 persons worldwide.
These numbers will only increase, as it is predicted by 2050, the worlds population will have grown to 2 billion people. The worlds food supply will therefore need to double to feed that masses. Along with population growth, economic growth is also predicted within developing countries, subsequently increasing worldwide protein consumption.
Today´s supply chain from catch to plate is wasting crucial resources. These wasteful practices cannot be continued if the predicted growth rate becomes a reality.
The challenges we need to tackle within the seafood sector in the not-so-distant future are therefore the following:
The solutions to these challenges could surprisingly be a simple one; Technology.
As an innovative company, Vélfags processing solutions can be part of that solution, by utilizing the latest technology to maximize the value of every fish caught:
Vélfag is growing fast, and has ambitious plans for the future
Vélfag offers a wide product range of heading, filleting and skinning machines for whitefish, both for on sea and land-based facilities. Vélfags TakeControl operating system offers an unprecedented level of control throughout nearly every element of the processing line, while ensuring even more user friendliness for the customers.
Vélfags business model fits into the solutions for the future trends that were listed earlier by insuring:
But what is in store for the future, if we make the choice and lean into modern technology to improve utilization?
The right choices today, ensure a sustainable tomorrow
Plastic pollution is one of our planets most pressing environmental issues.
The Vélfag team is constantly striving to develop our machinery to be the best on the market, which also includes making environmentally sound choices.
Vélfag is proud to say that our machines are primarily comprised of recycled POM plastics and stainless steel, which are both environmentally conscious building materials.
The right choices today, ensures a brighter tomorrow!
Happy New Year! Thank you to everyone who worked with us in 2019.
2019 was one of Vélfags biggest years yet.
We sold a record number of machines, moved into an amazing new office space, and 4 new staff members joined our team.
We would also like to congratulate Rammi Ehf. for their successful fishing year with freezing trawler Sólberg ÓF 1, that landed the most amount of demersal catch in 2019. We are very proud to see our machines working so well on board.
Looking forward to what 2020 has in store!