VC999's P-Series Rollstock solves labor-shortage issues for Frandon Seafood.

For over 35 years, Frandon Seafoods has been supplying fish products to Quebec and eastern Ontario. Starting as a small distributor in 1986, the company has since undergone multiple expansions. Frandon is now an importer, wholesaler, and distributor employing more than 100 employees working two production shifts. The shortage of labor in the industry has increased the need to come up with long-term solutions. VC999 was able to provide them with a Total Packaging Solution.

“We source our products from around the world with an emphasis on local products like lobsters, crab, Nordic shrimp, turbot, and halibut,” says Eric Bissonnette, managing director for Frandon Seafoods. “We serve food service customers, large and small retailers, regional distributors, fishmongers, manufacturers, home meal replacements, and more.” In the past year, Frandon imported and sold over 10 million pounds of fish and seafood.

Production and processing of fish products currently comprise about 35 percent of the company’s business. Frandon is continuously investing in its processing and packaging lines at its state-of-the-art 45,000-sq.-ft. facility. “We are committed to becoming the biggest processor in the province,” Bissonnette says adding that Premium Brands has been extremely supportive of all of the company’s initiatives to grow its market share. Food safety, quality, and sustainability are all important aspects of Frandon’s operations.

The shortage of labor in the industry has increased demands on the packaging side of Frandon’s business for ready-to-sell products. “It is becoming an important area of our business presently. Every day we are thinking of new ways to use the equipment so that we can meet all the requests we get,” Bissonnette says. Because of this challenge, the company began investing heavily in the the business and purchased a P-Series RollStock machine from VC999. The P-Series machine was a perfect choice for them because it does rigid, flexible, and skin on the same machine without die or mechanical adjustment. 

Bissonnette says the biggest challenge related to packaging fish is its constantly changing size and shape, but that has been addressed with their investment in VC999 technologies. “Fish has no standards as size and shape is concerned. The VC999 P-Series RollStock machine permits us to adapt to most of them using different dies. The reason Frandon opted for a VC999 machine is because of the company’s reliable service and knowledgeable staff.”  

“When you put a packaged product out in the market, you can’t go back. You need to make sure you are well supported by your equipment company. Speedy service and parts availability are very important in case you have a breakdown,” Bissonnette says, adding that they also reach out to VC999 with new packaging concepts. “Since we are still relatively new in this market segment, we also solicit them for advice when we are developing new packaging. Their know-how and experience are a huge help for us at that stage of product development.” 

The P420 P-Series Roll Stock Machine and the rigid, flexible, and breathable films for fish packaging that VC999 supplies have been a huge competitive advantage for Frandon’s production and innovation. “Basically, none of our projects and new ideas would have been feasible without it and the team. Those new ideas are increasing our purchasing power as our volume increases and as projects get developed,” Bissonnette says.

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