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MacNeil shellfish expands operations with new seafood distribution hub in Bilbao


In a strategic move to scale its operations and solidify its position in the European market, Scottish sustainable seafood specialists MacNeil Shellfish has opened a cutting-edge distribution hub in Bilbao, Spain. This expansion, the culmination of five years of meticulous planning and dedication, marks a significant milestone for the family-operated enterprise renowned for its commitment to quality and sustainability.

With an investment exceeding five million, MacNeil Shellfish has developed a 3000 square metre facility designed to propel the company into its next growth phase. This state-of-the-art hub is set to enhance MacNeil’s operational efficiency, increase its market share, and significantly boost its distribution capabilities across Spain, Portugal, and the broader European continent.

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Shellfish from Scotland remains one of the most sought after products throughout the EU, and the new factory will allow MacNeil to increase production with an expected  30% growth in 2024 turnover, and 10% increase in exports. They will offer certified sustainably sourced products by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) with full provenance and traceability to meet European consumer demand.

Since its inception in 2012 by Michael MacNeil and partner Amber Knight, MacNeil Shellfish has steadfastly championed the cause of sustainable and ethical seafood harvesting. Partnering with nearly 600 local suppliers in Scotland, MacNeil has carved out a reputation for its wild, creel-caught delicacies, including crab, lobster, and langoustine, setting the gold standard for responsible shellfish sourcing.

The MacNeil group operates with subsidiaries in GB, Spain and Ireland.  With a joint venture in Spain with Fishellnorth Ansomar, and plans to extend operations in France and the Netherlands in the immediate future. 

Amber Knight, co-owner of MacNeil Shellfish said: 

“At MacNeil Shellfish, our core mission extends beyond just selling seafood. We are deeply invested in nurturing a sustainable future for our community of suppliers, partners, and employees. 

“Our new facility in Bilbao is a testament to our dedication to excellence and sustainability. It will not only enhance our distribution capabilities but also reinforce our support for the Scottish fishing communities, enabling us to deliver our exceptional products more effectively across Spain and Europe.”

MacNeil’s unwavering commitment to product and food safety is exemplified by its adherence to global quality standards, as evidenced by Fishellnorth Anosmar’s IFS accreditation—a testament to the company’s dedication to delivering superior quality and safety in every product.

This expansion marks a new chapter in MacNeil Shellfish’s journey, promising to bring the finest Scottish seafood to tables across Europe with even greater efficiency and sustainability. 

MacNeil will also be attending the 30th edition of the Seafood Expo Global in Barcelona from 23-25 April, to meet with global industry suppliers and buyers for the seafood industry. 

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