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CAFRE link with the Co-Innovate Programme that aims to support SMEs and micro-businesses in Northern Ireland, the Border Region of Ireland, and Western Scotland.

Co-Innovate project sparks new product line for Morgans Fine Fish

In collaboration with the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) Loughry Campus, Morgans Fine Fish have embedded a new product innovation strategy and developed a new range of healthy, valued added ready to cook products. In addition, the fish producer has enhanced their packaging to become more sustainable and consumer friendly. They have incorporated a QR code into their own branded products that links back to the company website where they have recipes and information on the sustainability of the fish.

Gillian Morgan, Project Manager at Morgans Fine Fish, said:

“Our project was based on new product development and processes. It has helped us to develop a range of new products, and in fact we have secured placement in the winter seasonal range of a major retailer.

It was a very successful project – an emphasis on new product development sharpened our focus, and the timelines really kept us on track. We had a great partnership with CAFRE – their market research insights and further testing capabilities were invaluable”.

Hayley O’Neill, Food Technologist at CAFRE worked with Morgans Fine Fish to explore raw materials, develop fish ready meals and the specification development from a food safety and nutritional capacity.

CAFRE provides expertise in food manufacture, innovation, food safety, packaging and waste minimisation. CAFRE Food Technologists have access to facilities in the Food Technology and Food Innovation Centres including a range of pilot processing food equipment to assist and trial innovative food products.

The cross-border project was made possible through the Co-Innovate programme, which is supported by the European Union’s INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).

Co-Innovate provides funding and support for SMEs who want to undertake a research and innovation project. The company works with an academic institute to fulfil a defined need and skillset that is not available in-house and helps fund and recruit a skilled project manager for 12 months to deliver the project and achieve KPIs.

Speaking about the success of the project, Co-Innovate Director, Alison Currie, said:

“The power of cross-border collaboration is undeniable. Co-Innovate is delighted to have facilitated new product development between Morgans Fine Fish and CAFRE, both are experts in their fields and when brought together, they have achieved true innovation”.