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Fiskvinnslan Íslandssaga hf.

Company Fact File:


Company address: Freyjugata 2, 430 Suðureyri

Tel.: +354 456 6300

Fax: +354 456 6304

Email: odinn@icelandicsaga.is

Website: www.icelandicsaga.is

Number of employees: 60

Directors:  Óðinn Gestsson and Guðni Einarsson

Vessels: Four small longline vessels

Species: Cod, haddock and catfish

Company capital stock: 66 million ISK

Last year turnover: 200 million ISK


Mission statement:

Iceland Saga (Íslandssaga) is a reliable and trustworthy company that focuses on the following objectives: delivering premier quality products, building close and long-lasting relationships with our customers, responding quickly to market demands, and being profitable and financially healthy in order to deliver on these objectives.

“To benefit company shareholders by meeting, in a profitable manner, the needs of consumers in the Western world for high quality food products made from seafood caught in Icelandic waters.”




Iceland Saga was founded in Suðureyri, Iceland in December 1999 by Óðinn Guðni Einarsson and Elvar Einarsson. A few years later the company merged with two other fishing companies from Ísafjörður and became Fiskvinnslan Íslandssaga, hf. The merge was viewed as a necessary financial move to avoid the closing of the business. The amalgamation was resultantly a success.



At the present time, the largest market for Iceland Saga’s products is in the UK, followed by the USA and Europe. The market in the UK overwhelmingly exceeds that of the rest of Europe, leading to a concentration on, and special attention to, the UK. In earlier years the market was driven by demand in the USA, but that changed five years ago when growing UK demand made it the largest customer base.

At the moment Iceland Saga is not planning to expand its present export market. The existing market consumes all the available supply the company manufactures and by progressing with the present business trends the company continues its export tradition. However, company owners are aware of the potential opportunities in further overseas business.


Yearly output:

From 5,000 tonnes of material, the company produces more than 4,000 tonnes of products. These products include fresh fish loins, heads, liver, and other fish parts. The main species of fish that are caught and processed are cod, haddock and catfish. Iceland Saga currently possesses a catchable quota of 600 tonnes. In the past few years the yearly outputs have been stable and consistent, as existing markets have not fluctuated greatly.


Means of transportation:

Products from Iceland Saga are transferred by truck from the Westfjords to Reykjavík or Keflavík. Fresh fish is mainly exported through the Keflavík International Airport and the frozen fish mainly leaves on cargo ships.


Factory Machinery:

The machineries being used are traditional heading machines and skinning machines, one filleting machine, and a Baader and trimming line.


Quality control: 

The company incorporates an HACCP quality control system.



Every new employee is trained in the factory by a senior employee for a few days. Any new employee is supervised closely for the first few weeks on the job and provided with any assistance as needed.  The company’s staff are well-informed of all the company’s products and any changes or renewals that take place. In the past ten years the company has created special seminars to enrich the employees’ knowledge and skills, such as quality control and capacity building seminars.

The working hours are from 07.00 to 15.00.



The company commonly uses two, and at times three, marketing agents from Reykjavík and the products are then distributed by different companies. The company markets directly via www.fisherman.is, the Bobby Fisherman cluster project, and through traditional Icelandic fishing villages. There is also direct marketing with the European market through wholesale buyers. 

Originally all products were exported to foreign markets, as the Suðureyri fishing business had traditionally operated. As recently as three or four years ago Fiskvinnslan Íslandssaga first began to produce and sell to the local Icelandic market. Nowadays, 6,000 school children in southern Iceland consume fish from the company twice a week during the school year.


Factory Ownership:

The factory is owned by the company.


Research and Development:

Most research and innovation begins with demand from the buyer. The buyer requests a certain product, and if the company does not produce it at that time, it initiates research for developing and producing the newly requested product. The company then undertakes a feasibility and profitability study for producing the new product. Based on these studies, the company begins experimenting with different cutting and processing methods for the specified product to find the best way to fulfil the costumer’s request within profitable margins. If the company can successfully implement the new product into its production supply and the customer is satisfied with the new product, new business deals will emerge.

Fiskvinnslan Íslandssaga collaborates with Matis, an Icelandic food and biotech research and development institution. The company also works together with The University Centre of the Westfjords and the University of Iceland in product development and marine research.



The Company is a member of the Federation of Icelandic Fish Processing plants. Their website is: www.sf.is.


New technology:

The company renovated its processing machinery in 2007. Since then, there has not been much change in the plant’s operative machinery as a result of uncertainty in the Icelandic fishing industry; primarily due to the quota system and the restless political situation inIceland.


Fishing technology:

The company owns four longline vessels. They fish using the jugging method - a method considered to have minimal environmental impact, as by-catch is greatly reduced. The baited hooks are pulled at random intervals to generate a genuine motion to the bait and increase capture quantities.


Social Benefits:

The company provides its employees a free membership to the local gym and swimming pool. In addition, the company organises trips to the home countries of its employees. So far, the company workers have made homestead visits to the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and Poland, with a trip planned in the nearby future to Thailand, since many of the current workers in the company are from there. There is also a workers’ union, and the company supports the union by matching the amount of money the workers put into its retirement fund. 



In the past few years the company invested in maintenance and improvements in various sections of the plant with the goal being to eventually renovate the entire factory. Last year the company offices were overhauled, completing the final stage of the plant renovation.