Germany's fish fair 25 - 27 February 2024


The fish international is the only trade fair for fish and seafood in Germany - a platform for the trade and the gastronomy. In Bremen, the trade finds out about new products on the German market and gets an overview of innovations and developments.
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Closely linked to the medium-sized fishing industry

Closely linked to the medium-sized fishing industry

She is Norwegian, but has spent almost all her life in Hamburg. This is not entirely unusual for Scandinavians with business interests in Germany. But in the case of Karoline Longem Skaar, this combination certainly has a symbolic meaning. The young entrepreneur exemplifies the close ties that characterise the relationship between the mostly owner-operated medium-sized fish businesses in Norway and Germany. Together with her mother Kari Longem, she represents the Norwegian fish trading company Skaar International in the Hanseatic city, which her parents founded in the Hanseatic city as a representative of their domestic fish trading company Skaarfish and established as a partner especially for small and medium-sized processors.

High quality awareness developed early in the company's history
Herring and mackerel were the focus when Karoline's great-grandfather created the basis for today's company in Måløy - just under 200 kilometres north of Bergen as the crow flies. Initially, the trader supplied customers within the country with herring and mackerel from the catches off the Norwegian west coast. Just one generation later, the Skaar family established its first international relationships. The fact that these reached as far as Japan a short time later - and still do today - is thanks to the Skaars' quality awareness. "The Japanese attach great importance to premium products," knows Karoline Skaar . "For my grandfather, it was therefore also a matter of course to send hand-picked herrings to a customer there, despite the enormous transport costs." Such a service was unusual at the time, but it paid off with success on the Japanese market.

Represented in Hamburg since 1985 - own breeding farm in Norway
Since 1985, the family business has maintained such close and good customer relations with German and international partners, also from Hamburg. "My parents opened the office here back then," Karoline Skaar reports. In the meantime, the company had created a second mainstay in its Norwegian homeland alongside the trade by rearing its own salmon trout and is now one of the country's big players in this field.  The main customers of Skaar's trading division in Germany are small and medium-sized smokehouses as well as manufacturers of preserves: "Since 1990 we have had another branch in Rostock, from where we supply the eastern federal states," explains Karoline Longem Skaar. However, the trade offer goes beyond the sale of the company's own goods - halibut and mackerel are among the other main products.

"Fish means family to me"
The conversation with the young entrepreneur about the company is exemplary of how customer relations are cultivated at Skaar. Being on first-name terms is a matter of course in Scandinavian-speaking countries; Karoline Longem Skaar has "imported" this tradition into the rather conservative Hamburg. Even though she talks openly about her work, the company and herself in a cheerful light-heartedness, this does not hide one thing: if need be, she can also be a "tough" businesswoman.

"Fish means family to me," she admits open-heartedly. Even though she actually speaks with a Hamburg accent rather than a Norwegian one, she does not deny her love for her family's homeland: "Four to six times a year we are in Norway," she says, "I enjoy that every time." Talking to the people there is just as important to her as talking to customers in Germany: "Even in the age of digitalisation, you simply need personal contact." Karoline Longem Skaar will soon have ample opportunity to do so again. From 4 to 6 September, Skaar International will be represented at fish international: "We have been there for 30 years. And I'm already looking forward to it."

 

Closely linked to the medium-sized fishing industry

fish international…

  • gives traders a platform where they can gain information on what's new in the German market and get a good overview of the fish industry.
  • offers a varied and individual assortment of fish to give traders ideas for achieving better market positioning.
  • presents a concentrated display of machines and technical aids and appliances for SMEs.
  • shows a broad spectrum of counter concepts for fishmongers and mobile fishmongers that is only to be found in Bremen.
  • gives you time to talk to other fish industry members so you can discuss ways to perfect your everyday work.

fish international – that is over 10,000 sqm of exhibition space for more than 320 exhibitors from 27 nations. Experts from the fish industry, wholesale, retail and gastronomy visit the fish fair to find suppliers, inform themselves and to exchange ideas.

gastro iventGASTRO IVENT, which usually takes place in parallel, will now be organised in January 28-30, 2023 as a Special Edition separately from fish international. In 2024, we plan to return together again.