Foodstuffs North Island supports Lee Fisheries independent fleet to help combat rising fuel costs

David Jose at Lee Fish Ltd

Foodstuffs North Island has secured a lifeline for the 45 independently owned and operated fishing boats that supply its subsidiary Lee Fish Ltd. The kiwi owned operated cooperative has brokered an arrangement that offers substantial fuel savings and equitable access to help fishers continue to operate in the face of rising operating costs.

The Leigh Fish fleet is made up of small, often multi-generational family owner-operated fishing businesses, many of who run long-line fishing boats and are committed to the very best sustainable fishing practices says Lee Fish Manager Tom Searle. 

Tom Searle Lee Fish Ltd

Operating costs are increasing across the board but rising fuel costs are hitting our independent fishers particularly hard. Its not something we cut back on, as it's fundamental to allow us to do our job. It's fantastic to have Foodstuffs come into bat for us and for our fishers to deliver a solution that will have such a meaningful impact for our suppliers.”

The agreement with marine fuel specialists Go Fuel and on-land fuel company BP, will see all boats in the fleet able to access substantial savings at the on-land stations, port pumps, as well as the use of the mini tanker fleet.

Previously the mini tankers would only do deliveries for larger boats meaning many of the small boats in Lee Fish fleet only had the option to refuel at the port pump which included an extra premium for docking. 

The new arrangement sees the minimum fuel order requirement reduced and now allows small boats to share a tanker delivery, an arrangement that was previously unavailable to them.

“Foodies have really come in with a meaningful solution that demonstrates a real understanding of the issues the amazing fishers in our fleet are facing and has put together a package that will make a real difference to these small but vitally important kiwi businesses.

“The news has been extremely well received and I think is a great reflection of the value our deep and long held relationship, not just for the two companies, but for our fleet of individual contractors who need support in these challenging times.” Says Tom.

Dave Jose, Foodstuffs National Seafood Manager, says it’s a great feeling to be able to help out a member of the Foodies family. 

Rising costs are impacting everyone and it’s becoming even more challenging to operate a small sustainable business in these inflationary times. This deal is bigger than just saving cents on fuel, it helps fishers access to more efficient and equitable refuelling options that they’d been previously excluded from due to the small but essential fuel requirements they have

We’re pleased we’ve been able to negotiate an outcome that is going to help the 45 independently owned and operated boats in the fleet as they continue to source great quality, sustainably caught fresh fish for our customers.”