A Sustainability Grant from the City of Cockburn has helped a North Coogee business employ more staff and transform raw materials formerly deemed waste products into marketable items.
Fins Seafood used a $4,000 grant to help finance the fabrication of a custom designed filleting bench.
The bench enables the separation of fish heads, frames and wings, all of which are products the market wants, now that they can be separated during the filleting process.
Fins owners Phil Clark and John Cordin said the bench made it easier to separate each section of fish, and then sell every part rather than some parts becoming waste sent to landfill.
The separated heads can now be sold as an environmentally sustainable bait product to a local supplier, and separated frames and wings, are in demand from chefs at restaurants in Perth and further afield.
“The bench has meant that we can use all sections of the fish according to what the market wants,” Mr Clark said.
“It has created a safer, more spacious work space, with processing now more efficient and faster, with room for more staff to work at the bench.
“Instead of working at several benches in a zig zag formation, the bench enables staff to work in a line which saves on efficiencies and increases safety with less bending, lifting and stepping away from the work station.”
Mr Clark said Fins had also come to an agreement, that if it could sort the waste correctly, any remaining fish waste would be picked up and turned into fertiliser products.
“We hope to serve as an example to other food processing facilities to minimize food waste and start thinking about alternatives for organic products that are currently going into the bin,” Mr Clark said.
Fins Seafood won the Small Business Award at the 2019 National Seafood Industry Awards, held in in Melbourne on 10 October 2019.
Their nomination for the national award was a result of their receipt of the WA Small Business Award at the WA Fishing Industry Council (WAFIC) awards earlier in 2019.
Business Engagement Officer Sarah Kahle hopes to encourage more businesses to undertake sustainability projects with the assistance of a City of Cockburn grant.
“It’s fantastic to see how these grants can create employment, encourage innovation and sustainable practices in our local business community,” Mrs Kahle said.
The City’s sustainability grants will open around February 2020, closing 4pm, Friday 27 March, with applicants advised of outcomes in mid-May.
Keep an eye on the City’s website and social media platforms for more details.
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