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Crab flavouring for export - FLAG Middle and North Jutland - DK

The economic and environmental problems caused by crab overpopulation in Limfjord turned into a business opportunity for a local food processor when a Japanese company showed interest in buying a flavour enhancer based on crab.

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The crab population has doubled in the Limfjord area in the last 10 years. Predators to valuable resources for the local fishing sector, such as fish eggs as well as small fish and mussels, crab overpopulation implied not only an environmental issue but also an economic one. The idea of making something productive with the crabs, underused until then, had long been in fishermen’s minds. However, the local food-manufacturing company, Carnad, saw a business opportunity when a Japanese company showed interest in buying a “clean label” liquid flavour enhancer.

Midt-Nord FLAG assisted the company in the initial market research as well as providing funds for equipment and machinery. As a result, Carnad has set up operations to catch local crabs and process them into liquid flavour enhancer containing 98% crab. The product is then sold to a number of clients from the food industry in Sweden, France and Germany.

Key lessons

Relevance to FARNET themes: Adding value to fisheries products; environment; new products

> Results: Besides the benefits to the environment and to the local fishing sector, the company has expanded its activities and market, currently exporting crab flavouring to Germany, Sweden and France. To date, Carnad has produced a total of 7 tonnes of this of this flavour enhancer. They are currently selling an average of 150kg of crab flavouring a month which allows them to cover production costs and make a small profit. Although no permanent job has been created yet, the company now employs a number of extra part-time workers when needed (2 of them fishermen to catch the crabs). At a later stage, the company aims to increase its production, hiring further staff and tapping into the Asian market.

> Transferability: This initiative can provide ideas to other areas with underexploited or invasive species.

> Final Comment: This project offers an example of building a profitable activity out of underexploited local species whose overpopulation jeopardised the existing balance of aquatic resources. It is also highlights how fisheries areas can create links and commercial opportunities abroad.

Total cost and EFF contribution

Total Project cost: €250 496

  • EFF Axis 4: €50 099
  • National co-financing: €50 099
  • Other/ Private: €150 298
Project information:

Title: Crab flavouring for export
Duration: Product development from May 2010 to December 2011
Case study date: March 2012


Project promoter:
CARNAD
Johnny Koch
info (at) carnad.com
+45 7211 2143
www.carnad.com
Middle and North Jutland FLAG factsheet