As Icelandic company Niceland Seafood expands to 12 markets in the United States, the company has developed a smartphone app that allows consumers to track the fish they buy from catch to purchase.
Niceland Seafood, based in Reykjavik, chose Denver as its U.S. headquarters partially due to its partnership with Icelandair, which is used by the company to ship its fish via direct, commercial flights.
Among the U.S. Niceland Seafood team are: Meghan Russell, U.S. director of strategy and sales; Arnie Dzelzkalns, U.S. director of operations and production; Patrick Dunaway, U.S. director of sustainability and chief scientist; and William (Billy) Polo, U.S. logistics, inventory management and quality assurance.
“Our U.S. team embodies the values of humanism, sustainability and shares a desire for more collaboration and transparency. Together our goal is to improve customer, retail partner and supplier experiences through leadership in education, technology and authentic storytelling,” said Oliver Luckett, Niceland’s chairman and founder.
The company is securing and expanding its supply-side position with the recent acquisition of NASTAR and Viking Fresh in Reykjavik. Home cooks in the U.S. can now buy Niceland Seafood in select King Soopers, City Markets, Busch’s, Metcalfe’s and Peapod Delivery through partnerships with major distributors such as Seattle Fish, Fortune Fish, Halpern’s Steak and Seafood, and Greenpoint Fish & Lobster.
Home cooks in 12 states will have access to Niceland Seafood: Wisconsin, Michigan, Colorado, Minnesota, Illinois, New York, Connecticut, Texas, Missouri, Montana, Wyoming and Florida.
The company says the global seafood industry is under scrutiny for deceptive labeling practices and fraudulent behavior, such as a case recently investigated by the New York Attorney General. Niceland officials say they want the company to lead the seafood industry by example.
Niceland Seafood developed the TraceabiliT web app that allows buyers and home cooks to see the entire journey of their meal, including the location in Icelandic waters where the fish was caught or farm raised, the fishermen, species information, the processing plant and transport information.
The TraceabiliT chain is viewable by using any smartphone’s built-in camera to upload a QR code on the package.
“Just point your camera and the story appears,” said Thor Gestsson, Niceland’s developer of the TraceabiliT app. “Transparency at this level represents critical progress for the industry and further positions Niceland as the company carrying the transparency torch.”
“As we’re seeing daily stories about the harmful, dishonest practices in the industry, it’s great for all of us to know we’re doing the right thing, at the right time, with the right partners, in the right places and with the right purpose,” Luckett said.
Niceland Seafood also is committed to reducing waste within the global supply chain. All Niceland Seafood products are shipped using 100 percent recyclable CoolSeal boxes and the company is committed to never using the industry standard styrofoam packaging. Niceland is presenting an eco-conscious solution as cities across the country are banning single-use styrofoam.
“Though more costly in the short term, we’re setting an example in hopes that others will follow and create broader acceptance in the industry, which will inevitably force prices of these eco-friendly options downward,” said Arnie Dzelzkalns, Niceland’s director of operations and production.