Urwin and Company Limited is a privately owned wholesale seafood company based in Bluff, a small coastal town at the bottom of the South Island of New Zealand.

The company was established in 1889 and is still owned and operated by the Urwin family.  The company owns fish quota primarily in the Southland region of New Zealand Fisheries Management area known for its pristine, cooler waters of the Southern Ocean.  It owns and operates a fleet of 5 vessels registered in Bluff, and also contracts with a number of independent fishermen.  The catch, which is harvested using environmentally sustainable practices, is processed in its factory in Bluff or through its investments in associated companies in the fishing industry; Barnes Oysters, Live Lobster Southland and SouthFish Limited, who also process and on-market Urwin catch.

The company products are sold on the domestic market and exported overseas either directly or by its associated companies.  Fish species are sold in various states, either fresh chilled or frozen, gill and gutted and filleted, depending upon seasonality and customer specifications.

The company employs between 20 and 30 staff, working on the vessels, processing in the factory and in support roles.  It prides itself with the number of long serving staff, some of whom have families who have been employed in the company over several generations. 

Health and Safety plays an important role in company policies and procedures.   It has recently achieved Level 2 Status in the Government funded ACC Workplace Safety Management Programme (WSMP).  Strict adherence to compliance is maintained through regular staff training to ensure staff are up-to-date with safe food handling requirements for both the domestic and export markets. 

Commitment to innovation is key to improving processes both on the vessels and in the factory.  Innovation has been enhanced by the company engineer liaising closely with the vessel skippers and factory staff, resulting in new and improved equipment to assist production and increase the quality of the product.

The ‘wild catch’ product is well known for its freshness and consistently excellent quality.  This is attributable to the cooler waters of the Southern Ocean, the small vessels which are unloaded frequently, and the experienced and knowledgeable staff.

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