< All News

New UK Ambassador to Iceland Learns About #MADEGREATINGRIMSBY

July 12, 2021

The newly appointed British Ambassador to Iceland, Dr Bryony Mathew, visited Grimsby to meet representatives of the #MadeGreatInGrimsby seafood and trading cluster.

Bryony was hosted by the CEO of Seafish Industry Authority, Marcus Coleman, along with Cluster Director, Simon Dwyer. Over a working lunch with Mike Woods, Grimsby FMA Chairman, Ruth Carver, CEO Greater Lincolnshire LEP and Iceland Consulate, Jonathan Goolden, Bryony heard first hand about the importance of fish import trade from Iceland into Grimsby which, is then distributed throughout the UK to major retailers as well as thousands of fish and chip shops and mobile fishmongers.

Mike Woods, who recently met the Icelandic Ambassador to UK, expressed concerns about UK Government requirement of veterinary authorised Export Health Certificates having to be supplied by Icelandic exporters from 1st October this year. He explained that a hard copy of the document should be physically presented with the fresh fish arrivals into the UK prior to customs clearance. Mike explained this was a major challenge for senders and transporters of fish. Mike commented "It was important to meet Bryony and discuss trade links. Icelandic fresh fish imports from 1st October are a major talking point. This bureaucratic requirement is potentially a major obstacle for trade continuity especially, with fresh cod and haddock supplies. Transportation friction and associated delays could have devastating impacts on our cluster and consumers"

Bryony also toured Flatfish Limited, who are a major importer of Icelandic fresh fish, in whole and filleted form, and the construction site for the new Border Control Post adjacent to Immingham port. The border post will be inspecting products of animal origin for human consumption from 1st January 2022 which, could include fish and seafood from Iceland.

Bryony said “This was a great opportunity for me to better understand the various stages of the supply chain involved in getting Icelandic fish into the UK. What struck me in particular was the speed at which each stage needs to be completed and the potential scale of the impact of a delay to any part of the process.

There are clearly very strong links between Grimsby and Iceland and I look forward to finding ways to further strengthen these when I start as Ambassador next month.”

Bryony takes up her role based in Reykjavik in August.