#5: Visit Narsaq
Narsaq, one of Royal Greenland's southernmost locations in Greenland, is home to one of our smallest factories with only three permanent employees all year round, but up to 30 in peak season. Despite its small size, the Narsaq factory is an important hub in the overall Royal Greenland business.
The factory trades and freezes cod, Greenland halibut, redfish, capelin and catfish all year round and lumpfish roe in season, and is an important location for local fishermen in southern Greenland.
A warm welcome to Narsaq
Upon arrival in Narsaq, we meet factory manager Niels Sakariassen and his team. Niels has been with the factory for 27 years and was there when the prawn and cod fishing was at its peak in South Greenland and the factory had 140 employees. Since then, the prawns have moved further north as a result of warmer sea temperatures, and so have the productions. The cod has been gone for a while, but is now returning more and more to the fjords of South Greenland, and the quotas for this fishery are expected to increase as more fish are caught.
Investments provide new opportunities
Quick freezing after catching is crucial to maintain the high quality of freshly caught fish. Therefore, in 2023, investments were made in a new belt freezer and packing facilities for fish, as well as new facilities for cleaning and salting lumpfish roe. The investments in new equipment have significantly increased the freezing capacity, so the factory's capacity is now adapted to the amount of fish in the area and the deliveries from the approximately 25 independent fishermen in the town, greatly minimising the risk of having to close the factory during peak periods.
Furthermore, the investment means that the freezing time for each fish has been significantly shortened, which in practice means that the quality of the fresh fish is preserved significantly better. In addition, the fish are now individually quick frozen (IQF) where they were previously frozen in blocks, making them much easier for our customers to handle.
The retrofit has also significantly optimised the working environment at the factory, eliminating heavy lifting. Instead, the fish is placed on a conveyor belt that transports it through the belt freezer and directly into the packaging.
Ready for production - see the factory.
Factory from the outside
Feeder for belt freezer
The final preparations before production.
Cleaning before start-up
Alice Jensen is Key-user in the office.
"We are not as big a workplace as we once were, but with the new freezer we can both service the local fishermen in an optimal way and at the same time make a good quality product for our customers" says Niels Sakariassen "The fishermen deliver whole, cleaned fish to the factory where we quickly handle the fish and place them on the belt freezer, where they are quickly frozen, glazed with clean water and packed in scantainers".
Customers have also welcomed the news of the new freezing method, as the application possibilities of the new quality are far greater and handling is easier. "I find it very satisfying to be able to deliver this fine quality fish to our customers," says Niels Sakariassen.
Narsaq - a small town in a mild climate
Narsaq is home to approximately 1,300 people and Royal Greenland's factory is located in the centre of town in the same building as the only slaughterhouse in Greenland. Due to the mild climate in the southernmost part of Greenland, sheep and reindeer can be raised here and summer crops such as potatoes can be grown. Niels Sakariassen takes us on a tour of the cosy town, where greenhouses and vegetable gardens show that we are far from the permafrost in the north. Enjoy the tour!
The word Narsaq means "The Plain"
Potatoes thrive in the mineral-rich soil
Harvesting potatoes in autumn
There are many greenhouses in Narsaq where vegetables are grown during the summer.
Summer in Narsaq invites outdoor activities
About the series "Meet Royal Greenland"
About the series "Meet Royal Greenland"
In this series of articles, we invite you on a tour of Royal Greenland's organisation; from the small factories along the Greenlandic coast to our large ocean-going production trawlers to our sales offices around the world and many more. Welcome to Meet Royal Greenland!