Less food waste and healthy lunch:
Collaboration on salmon mince has made students crazy about Jaws

A good collaboration between Skagerak Salmon at Port of Hirtshals and schools in Hjørring Municipality means that salmon meat, which was previously used for animal feed or thrown away, can now be used for delicious dishes in the lunch break. This leads to less food waste and healthier lunches for the students. Sales of salmon dishes - including the hugely popular salmon burger Jaws - have increased significantly in schools due to the collaboration.

Students at schools in Hjørring Municipality have fallen in love with the salmon burger Jaws and the school canteens' salmon lasagna. This is due to a collaboration between the schools and the company Skagerak Salmon, which has delivered fresh fish mince to the schools and at the same time has turned waste products into a healthy raw material - to the great delight of the students.

Nordvestskolen, which consist of Højene Skole, Bjergby Skole and Lundergaardskolen, considered during the corona shutdowns how it could offer more climate-friendly and healthy food to the students. At the same time, Skagerak Salmon would like to avoid food waste by utilizing all the meat that sits on the many tons of salmon that are filleted at the factory at Port of Hirtshals. The two wishes have now become a higher unity, because the factory has supplied fish to Nordvestskolen, which has approximately 1400 students, on a trial basis.
In addition to Nordvestskolen, Hirtshals Skole has also collaborated with Skagerak Salmon on the delivery of salmon to the students.

The students hear about how to make the best use of fish meat and thereby avoid food waste.
The students hear about how to make the best use of fish meat and thereby avoid food waste.

- It made sense that we should collaborate to focus on climate-friendly and healthy food and at the same time teach the students about the climate goals. The students have welcomed the initiative very well and have been very interested in helping to develop different dishes with salmon, says Dan Jensen, technical service manager at Nordvestskolen.

The canteen staff first prepared many dishes with salmon, which the students tasted. Four dishes were then chosen to take part in a final where a vote had to be taken as to which two dishes should be a permanent part of the menu. The winners were the salmon burger Jaws and a salmon lasagna.

- We can see a significant increase in the number of dishes sold when there is fish on the menu, so the students have become aware that the fish tastes good and is healthy, and this is a result of focusing on it, says Dan Jensen

For Skagerak Salmon it was obvious to collaborate the schools' canteens.

- We think it is exciting to find out how to get more fish into children's everyday lives, and it was obvious to collaborate with the schools. Salmon and other fish can be relatively expensive, but we can deliver a portion of school food at an affordable price. We are very impressed by how both the canteen staff and the students have received it, says Tine Ketilsson, who is quality manager at Skagerak Salmon.

When it has been possible to supply the schools with salmon mince, it is because Skagerak Salmon has prioritized using a larger part of the fish for human consumption. The company usually sells large, beautiful salmon fillets, and when the fillets are cut out, there are remnants from the salmon meat on the carcass. Until now, this meat has been used for animal feed or for fishmeal or fish oil, because it was considered a waste product. But now a machine can squeeze the meat from the salmon's carcass, and the meat can be used for food.

Among the students' favourite, a salmon lasagna.
Among the students' favourite, a salmon lasagna.

The collaboration came about primarily through a dialogue between Skagerak Salmon and the schools, but Port of Hirtshals also played a role. Port of Hirtshals has good knowledge of the companies located at the port and is happy to help if a company is looking for a business partner or needs sparring to bring an idea to life.

- The agreement between Skagerak Salmon and the schools is an example of how we can help companies at the port to develop. It is to the benefit of everyone when the companies are doing well, and if we can see some opportunities for companies to collaborate with others, then we are very happy to contribute regardless of whether it is a collaboration with existing companies at the port, future companies at the port or companies located in a completely different location, says CEO Per Holm Nørgaard from Port of Hirtshals.

Based on the collaboration with the schools, Skagerak Salmon can see a potential in supplying salmon mince to other kitchens that want more fish on the menu.

- We run approximately 50 tons of salmon through the factory per day, so we hope it is possible to have a similar collaboration with others who can see the idea of putting more fish on the menu, says Tine Ketilsson.

Technical service manager Dan Jensen from Nordvestskolen expects that the collaboration with Skagerak Salmon will continue and that the canteens will make more salmon dishes a regular selection in the schools' canteens.