Seafox Management Consultants Ltd
Humber Seafood Institute
Origin Way
Europarc
Grimsby
North East Lincolnshire
DN37 9TU

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Our Blog

Posted By: Tom Crump

A VIEW FROM OUR OXFORD INTERN!

 

I’m Tom, a 20 year-old Economics student at the University of Oxford, based in Grimsby. I contacted Seafox in an effort to arrange some work experience in management consultancy at the beginning of August, and the following Monday I met Simon for an interview.

Later that day, I was sat in Seafox’s office at the Humber Seafood Institute, Europarc, in a meeting with a Managing Director of another firm discussing the possibility of broadening Grimsby’s seafood infrastructure, taking notes and contributing to the discussion. The weeks that followed brought more of the same: meeting with directors in and out of the Seafox office, discussing the seafood industry in Grimsby and how Seafox can improve the operations of local firms. I was completely immersed from the off, and learned quickly about the history and function of Grimsby’s seafood industry.

As a part of this, I worked closely with a client to help process and analyse the feedback from a questionnaire which had been previously drawn up by Seafox. I created a method to input the data and to process it, quantifying qualitative feedback to create a presentation to feed back to the client as a service. It has been a huge learning experience for me to have such responsibility and involvement from the outset, and I hope that it has been rewarding for Seafox too.

In addition to this, I assisted with Seafox’s bid writing team. Working with a number of clients, I helped to draft the bids to unlock Governmental and European funding for the local area. I swiftly learned about the criteria behind the bids, about the detail required to successfully unlock the funding and about the craft behind writing a successful bid. In the coming weeks, we will find out whether the bids were successful.

As my short time with Seafox draws to a close, I have been reflecting on the experience which brought me into contact with prominent figures both locally and nationally: this includes chief executives, managing directors, influential public and private sector figures and even a government minister. I had no idea how active and lively the local fishing industry still was, but these few weeks have been a magnificent insight into what the local region has to offer. It was thoroughly refreshing to see the dynamism of the Grimsby job market, too - there are opportunities available throughout the town, and I thoroughly believe that young people can thrive here. Particularly in engineering, I feel that there is huge potential for careers to flourish here, and I hope that local young people recognise this.

Posted By: Liz Baghurst

 

OH WE DO LIKE TO BE BESIDE THE SEASIDE!

 

Much is spoken about the sustainability of coastal tourist resorts in the UK and their prospects for the future. As active stakeholders in North East Lincolnshire’s economy Seafox has been delighted to observe and contribute towards the progress being made in Cleethorpes last year, a Town with great prospects and a strong sense of identity.

The Town certainly has a buzz about it and has seen the emergence of an evening economy to rival many Cities, in no small part owing to the growth of offshore wind and our other thriving sectors. It is encouraging to see investments being made by the private sector in the service industry with the Premier Inn Cleethorpes, Riverside, People Bar to name but a few.

In 2015 a brand new partnership called Coast NEL was established by the areas’ Visitor Economy Services and Retail Group which has championed a winning bid to Government for £25,000 to invest in developing and driving the strategy for growth. This will help to galvanise partners in the community as well as providing an opportunity to improve engagement with Government.

Seafox also played its role and was delighted to support the delivery of a grant from the Regional Growth Fund towards The Pier, Cleethorpes, a top quality development of a most iconic property. It was a pleasure to work with father and son team Bryan and Simon Huxford to enable the restoration of this special building. The refurbishment has seen the creation of modern multi-purpose venue that will host a wide variety of events from unique weddings to business conferences and exciting functions. The Pier, Cleethorpes, has also generated over 30 new jobs and launched a new restaurant, tearoom and public house which are attracting visitors from outside the area as well as serving local patrons. The development has cast a spotlight on the resort nationally and internationally by playing host to the World Seafood Congress welcome party earlier this year to a global audience and we are certain this will be the first of many such prestigious events held in Cleethorpes.

2016 will also bring a new Cycle Hub to Cleethorpes which will provide a facility for the enjoyment and promotion of cycling in the resort. Cleethorpes has crafted a role for itself as modern visitor centre and quality place to be for local people, the prospects look sunny for its continued prosperity. Can’t wait to see what else 2016 has in store and how we can be involved!   

Posted By: Leanda Ashley

 

EASTER FISH RECIPE

Smoked Mackerel Fishcakes

Serves 4-5

Preparation & Cooking Time – 1 hour and 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1kg potatoes (e.g. Desirée), peeled and roughly chopped
  • 245g pack smoked mackerel fillets, flaked
  • 3 eggs
  • 1tbsp creamed horseradish
  • 1tbsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 75g plain flour
  • 125g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For The Salsa:

  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 1/2 yellow pepper
  • 1/2 red onion
  • Chives

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C, 425°F, Gas Mark 7
  2. For the mackerel fish cakes: cook the potatoes in boiling water for 15-20 minutes, drain and mash.
  3. Add the flaked mackerel, 1 beaten egg, horseradish, parsley and seasoning.
  4. Shape into 10 patties with lightly floured hands, then dip into flour, followed by the remaining beaten eggs and finally into breadcrumbs. Chill for about 30 minutes.
  5. Place the mackerel fish cakes onto a lightly oiled baking sheet and cook for 25-30 minutes, turning halfway through cooking.
  6. Chop the peppers, red onion and chives into small cubes and mix together to form a rough salsa.
  7. Serve the fishcakes with the salsa.

ENJOY & HAVE A GREAT EASTER WEEKEND!

For further recipes and information on where to purchase traditionally smoked fish, please take a look at their project website:

http://www.traditionallysmoked.co.uk/recipes/

 

Posted By: Simon Dwyer

ENOUGH TIME FOR A PROSPEROUS 2015?

 

On your marks, get set, go - and you are off to 2015! 52 weeks of full-on, energised focus on building your business. Well, at Seafox our experience tells us the calendar year and for some of you the financial year too is, particularly for the purpose of business building, now defined into three active periods. Why? well, quality of business life for instance with more people taking statutory holidays especially at Easter and Summer (three weeks not uncommon). People now get away from the workplace and still check their emails every hour thus, feeling like they're keeping the business ticking over without having to meet and talk to people, seems to be vogue and #trending.

So 2015 period one is always a full on assault for 13 weeks, from now until Easter holiday time in early April. There's no excuses and this 13 week period will define the remainder of the year. As for Seafox, in period one we're looking forward to being part of the 10th North Atlantic Seafood Forum taking place in Bergen, the first week in March and developing links with new partners forged in 2014 including the Seafood Grimsby and Humber Group.

Period two can for those involved in overseas trade be a painfully short period starting mid-April and ending the last week in June - 10 weeks (not including all the bank holidays across Europe). Followed by a European and UK 9 week summer break mixed up with 'their' holidays and 'our' holidays. So what can you look forward to in period two? well if your year started as a "good year " then you haven't too many weeks in this period to cock it up. For those who have a "not so bad year so far", will be frustrated with the short period in order to turn it into a "good year". And for those who started "disastrously" then be grateful for your holidays after you've cut the cloth accordingly for a last minute dash in period three.

Period three activity gets under way early September when the UK holidays cease and end first week in December - why first week in December you ask? well, that's when everyone just simply can't be arsed to do anything before winding down for Christmas and starts preparing for same again in 2016. So during this 14 or so week period Seafox is especially looking forward to Grimsby, our home base, hosting the World Seafood Congress which takes place from 5th to 9th September 2015 and will see several hundred visitors from around the world converge on the area which hosts one of the largest seafood processing clusters in Europe.

So 2015 business activity squeezed into three periods over 36 weeks may now seem a reality in planning the year. However, despite this, remember being agile with decision making, innovative, energised, keeping a tight control on cash and holding onto the talented and competent people is a 365 day a year job!

A happy and prosperous New Year to you all from Seafox.

Posted By: Leanda Ashley

BANK HOLIDAY WEEKEND RECIPE

 

Omelette Arnold Bennett

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 100g Smoked Haddock
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 50g frozen garden peas, thawed
  • 1 dessertspoon vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • Black pepper
  • 30g reduced fat cheddar cheese, grated 

Method 

  1. Wash and skin the fish, remove any bones. Place the fish on a plate, cover with cling film or a microwave plate cover and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Remove the cover and leave the fish to cool. Drain any excess liquid from the fish.
  3. Beat the eggs in the bowl with a pinch of pepper to season.
  4. Add the oil to the frying pan and heat gently. When it is hot, add the finely diced onion and cook gently until cooked but not coloured.
  5. Add the beaten egg mixture and peas to the pan.
  6. Gently stir the ingredients together until the egg begins to set. Turn the heat down to a gentle heat, add the flaked fish and cook for 1 minute to heat through.
  7. Sprinkle the grated cheese over the top of the omelette and place under a grill to melt.
  8. Carefully ease the omelette from the frying pan onto a warmed plate.
  9. Serve with a sprig of parsley and a wedge of lemon.

Delicious with a salad garnish or a selection of cooked vegetables.

 

For further recipes and information on where to purchase traditionally smoked fish, please take a look at their project website:

http://www.traditionallysmoked.co.uk/recipes/

 

 

 

Posted By: David Walker

YOU ARE NEVER TOO OLD TO HAVE A FRIEND

 

In our working, business, family and social life we will find over many years that we develop friendships. Friends that we will treasure, friends that support us and friends that give us independence.

However, for many older people, that just isn't the case. For many their family very often live some distance away and are not always on hand for that immediate physical contact. Many don't have any family. For a significant number it is estimated that their lives revolve around the television, pets and supermarket shopping.

Consequently the biggest issue faced by older people is isolation and loneliness. Most of us think it would be lovely to have some time on our own, but if you are facing that 24/7 then suddenly it doesn't seem so good. Other issues faced by older people include the loss of confidence, increased health issues and poor social contacts. Being part of a social circle has many benefits but first it makes you feel so much better both mentally and physically. We also often find that if someone has been ill, been discharged from hospital, or maybe had a fall that they lose their confidence in getting out and about.      

In the last fifteen years there has been a 50% increase in the number of 55-64 year olds living on their own. A study of 6,500 men and women in the UK over 52 found that being isolated from family and friends was linked with a 26% higher death risk over 7 years.

(Age UK, 2013)

Friendship at Home, the Charity that I chair, plays an important role in helping to build up an older person's confidence and help them get back into their community. Being part of Friendship at Home really does make a difference. We look after all of our Members as if they were our own family. If they don't turn up at the clubs, we give them a call to make sure they are ok and check if they want anything doing.

Knowing that someone is looking out for you makes you feel much more positive about life. We now find that our Members make new friends who keep an eye on each other, meet up ouside of our activities and often ring each other, just to have a chat.

Although we have a fantastic team of volunteers, we are always looking for more. The more volunteers we have, the more people we can look after. So, as an individual that may have time on their hands or a business that wants to extend its reach into the community there is always an opportunity to play your part in making friends and supporting those in need of your friendship.

Friendship at Home is a registered charity based in Cleethorpes covering the whole of North East Lincolnshire.

For more information, about what we do, you can visit our website at

www.friendshipathome.org.uk

Our facebook page at www.facebook.com/friendshipatthome?ref=hl

You can follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/FriendshipatHo1

Tel: 01472 602500 or email us at admin@friendshipathome.org.uk

 

 

 

Posted By: Simon Dwyer

THE BUSINESS OF SPORT

 

Firstly, I'm not an avid Mail Online reader (let's get that straight !) but I came across this article -  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/smallbusiness/article-2683517/Celebrating-small-business-sporting-heroes-The-UK-firms-scenes-British-sport.html -  via our @Seafoxnews Twitter account this week which captures the links between the prestigious UK sporting events we host and the opportunities created for business. The linkages between sporting events and businesses is nothing new but I feel that the recent Grand Dèpart Tour De France in Yorkshire took the scale of opportunity to a new level, particularly for the regional economy and the good stuff that is produced by Yorkshire businesses.

So why mix sport with business? Well, apart from the weather what else do we in business have in common with our business partners and network? Sport! "Who do you follow?", "My son plays ice hockey at the weekends", "We have horses for my daughters to ride" as against the now passé, conversations such as "How much do you earn?", "What's your job title?", "What car do you drive?" Sport & Business are as compatible as Gin & Tonic!

Sport now offers the chance to leverage the interface with business whether that's on a local, regional or national level. Closer to our Seafox home, sport may want to consider organising itself regionally by collaborating with for instance, other regional football clubs or football collaborating with other sports such as cricket, in making an offering to business.

Good businesses will always seize the chance to supply goods and services to sporting events or use these to engage in business networking opportunities or show-case. What's interesting also is how sport that's engaged in overseas competitions can link business to trade to create export opportunities. If for example, Hull City football club who embark this season in the Europa League competition are drawn against a team from Norway and Norway is a major trading partner to the Humber region then can football be the conduit to bring together business and create trade? I'm certain it can and the willingness to make it happen can be through sport.

One excellent example of how sport can come together with business overseas is the Clipper yacht race organisation headed by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston. The CBI organisation describe Clipper as 'A British-based company established by yachting legend Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world in 1968-9, is flying the flag for UK business - providing a global platform for the GREAT Britain campaign on its 40,000-miles journey round major markets on six continents.'

Simon Dwyer is the CEO of Seafox Management Consultants and an avid sports fan who does some business now and again!

 

Posted By: Leanda Ashley

WORLD CUP RECIPE BLOG

In between World Cup games on a hectic evening how about treating yourself and your family to  another mouth-watering recipe using PGI traditional smoked fish from Grimsby.

Haddock Kedgeree

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 good sized haddock fillets (boned)
  • 10oz basmati rice
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2oz mushrooms
  • ¼ of a green pepper
  • 1 onion
  • ½ dessert spoon green masala paste
  • 1-2 tsp turmeric
  • 1-2 tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ pint of water
  • Dessert spoon of lemon juice
  • Freshly chopped coriander leaves

 Method

  1. Boil rice.
  2. Place smoked haddock into a pan of cold water and bring to the boil.
  3. Drain off the water.
  4. Sauté the garlic, mushrooms, pepper and onion in oil.
  5. Add turmeric, cumin, coriander and lastly some water.
  6. Simmer for a few minutes.
  7. Add lemon juice and fresh coriander to taste.
  8. Flake the smoked haddock and add to the mixture along with the cooked rice.
  9. Mix everything together thoroughly and then serve.

 

Enjoy!

Come on England!

For further recipes and information on where to purchase traditionally smoked fish, please take a look at their project website:-

http://www.traditionallysmoked.co.uk/recipes/

 

 

 

 

Posted By: Liz Baghurst

PRIVATISATION OF THE VOLUNTARY SECTOR!

 

Voluntary organisations are under increasing pressure to become more like businesses in order to ensure their survival as the state tightens its belt. Funding towards the sector has never been more competitive and contracts are a big part of the funding mix for many organisations.

The NCVO estimates that the voluntary sector contributes £11.7 billion to UK gross value added, equivalent to 0.8% of the whole of the UK GVA which is comparable to that of private industrial sectors e.g. the GVA of agriculture is £8.3 billion.

Selling services whether to the customer direct or the public sector via a commissioning route requires a substantial shift in mentality. Charities specialise in providing services that are free at point of access and help those at the margins of society not catered for in the mainstream, their flexibility, community spirit and responsiveness are key values. These values do not always sit easily in a charging model. There will be trade-offs to make between ensuring the organisation’s financial sustainability and protecting its values and those of its volunteers. 

Furthermore we have moved towards systems of economic reward for voluntary work, whether using a ‘carrot or stick’ approach. The Government’s flagship Work Programme has made unpaid community work a requirement for claiming unemployment benefits. Whereas Hull City Council has announced plans to launch a digital currency called the HullCoin which it will donate to people in return for carrying out voluntary work. The HullCoin can be used to pay Council Tax or Rent bills and in future may be used on the high street.

What is clear is that Voluntary Sector organisations need to work towards a wider funding mix as being reliant upon a single source of grant funding is a high risk approach. The sector needs to learn how to earn – make sure that your staff and volunteers understand the potential of earned income and invest in specialist skills like tender writing, bidding and research to find the best fit.

The Voluntary sector needs to capitalise on opportunities to attract new income and motivate a new generation of volunteers whilst also continuing to offer a place for those with altruistic intentions to do what they do best.

 

Posted By: Simon Dwyer

IT'S SHOWTIME!

 

In the past few weeks Seafox have been attending, meeting and greeting at two key sector shows. Firstly, Multimodal 2014 which is the UK & Ireland's leading transport and logistics event, and last week the Brussels Seafood Show, the world's leading seafood industry event. What was paramount is that both shows signalled that both sectors are having more money to invest in show-casing their goods, services and products – a sign of our improving economic times?

Multimodal had a good representation of 'key players' from across UK & Europe and other companies within the vast supply-chain were visible, more so than previous years. The Multimodal organising team has made great strides in bringing together companies from road, rail, sea and air, plus warehousing, IT and other value-added services. Perhaps the tide is turning for the logistics sector and congratulations to all who made an effort to contribute to the event’s 15% growth during its seven year tenure. 

Brussels Seafood Show was, as usual, vast with virtually every country in the world represented. I compare Brussels to walking round the world in the space of a few hours ! Thousands of people call in to the show each of the three days to make deals, trade, meet suppliers & customers plus participate in being part of a global network of seafood professionals. The industry, according to those very nice people from Islandsbanki and the FAO, produced 157 million tonnes of seafood in 2012 and the outlook is over 160 million tonnes for 2013. Within 10 years total production will be in the region of 180 million tonnes, split equitably between wild-caught and aquaculture production. They go on to report the consumption of seafood is increasing, with China leading the way - presumably as their disposable income and affordability to buy protein increases year on year.

The equally very nice people at IntraFish invited Seafox to their Seafood Leadership Luncheon and we were fortunate to receive a presentation during lunch from Simon Smith, Icelandic Seachill Group, who spoke passionately about the success of the Saucy Fish product produced in Grimsby. Saucy Fish is a great story about how to evolve the idea and R&D into manufacturing and a seafood phenomenon that is now an export product too - all rolled out in a very 'cool brand'.

Seafood and Logistics are at the heart of Seafox funding & grants and business support services and we thoroughly enjoyed meeting our friends from both sectors during the past few weeks.  It’s good we have sometimes contributed to the successes and wish them all well in the future.