Latest News & Highlights
Central Market with
A great recipe was recently demonstrated at the market
Glen will be at the Central Market on March 22nd at 5pm for a cooking demontration with FoodSA
Organic and Sustainable Market
We are now attending the O&S Market at Helney Beach Primary school every Saturday.
Visit us there - visit their facebook page and website
The Governor's Visit
The Governer of South Australia and his wife visited on Thursday. We spoke about the history of our business, about the Lakes and Coorong fishery and gave him a tour of our processing premises where he watched Roxanne fillet fish. They were a lovely couple and they asked some very insightful questions about the industry.
Meningie Area School rainbow Trout
Adelaide Advertiser Article Taste Liftout
Great to see our beloved flounder back after a long absence
amazing what happens when an ecosystem is rejuvenated.
How to you prepare and eat them?
Coorong Wild Seafood has its processing facility at Meningie, South Australia. It is located near the Coorong where the Lakes and Coorong commercial fishery operate, therefore the seafood supply chain is very short and maximises the quality of the fish brought to the premises. As an owner operator Glen Hill supplies the majority of the fish to the processing factory run by wife Tracy.
They also purchase fish from several other fishermen who meet the Hill’s high quality standards. This provides the fishermen another outlet for their catch, enabling them to maximise their returns especially over the winter period when mullet is plentiful and prices are lower in the markets. The fish are supplied to wholesalers, retailers and distributors throughout Metropolitan and Regional South Australia with a building clientele in Melbourne, Sydney and recently Perth.
Coorong Wild Seafood has a workforce of 5 fulltime and 3 casual staff. The business has expanded with value-added products to its filleted fish range, which ensures it has work all year round for their employees. Previously known as “The Coorong Fisherman” the business changed its name in 2007 to mark a new structure and direction. The new name reflects the branding of the region and emphasises the “wild” nature of the product to differentiate them in the market place.
The major achievement over the past twelve months has been to have their product in supermarkets and other retail outlets under their own brand.
Glen purchased his first license in 1990. As with all fishermen he supplied the fish market with his daily catch. Becoming dissatisfied with the constant low prices for his product he decided filleting and direct marketing was his best return on investment. He bought a fish round, supplying shops in the Barossa Valley, from a retiring fisherman.
Trading under the name of The Coorong Fisherman, Glen fished and processed his catch by himself for the grand total of 60 kg of fillets per week. Using his entrepreneurial skills this quickly grew to regular orders of 120 kg/week. All of this from a 10ft x 10ft shed that used to have up to 6 people working at one time. Tracy would join him in the processing shed after working at a local bank, first washing and packing orders, then eventually learning how to fillet. The kids would come home from school and assist in the family business.
While Glen is recognised as one the best mullet fishermen of the fishery, even he misses out occasionally. Business growth meant that at times there is a problem with consistency of supply. Purchasing fish from other local fishermen has reduced this problem, but not altogether removed it because they are dealing with a wild caught product. Nature’s cycles, bad weather, birds, animals and environmental issues have a big impact on the success of catches.
As mullet is plentiful over winter and harder to catch over summer, which incidentally is when there is peak demand, Glen and Tracy decided to move into snap frozen fillets in vacuum portion packs. These have proven to be very successful, providing the consumer with a locally caught, sustainable product and competes quite well with the cheaper imported fish. They also trailed smoking their surplus fish, at first contracting to other businesses. Unfortunately the final product was of inconsistent quality and did not meet the businesses expectations.
Incidentally the best smoked mullet they had tried was produced by a recreational net fisherman who lived in a shack by the Coorong. He used a converted pie warmer and produced the greatest looking and tastiest smoked fish they had tried. When asked if he would like to come and smoke fish for the Hill’s he politely declined but generously offered to teach Glen his “secret” method. This new product has proved as popular as they knew it would.
Two years ago the business employed the services of a small distributor in Adelaide, Trevor Bowden. A salesman with over 30 years experience in the Adelaide retail industry, he has helped take Coorong Wild Seafood to supermarkets and retail outlets not previously supplied with Coorong Mullet. Mullet heads and frames are now being sold as bait to other fishing business, including rock lobster, blue crab and shark fishermen. Some of this is even being sold to a chain of pet food stores to make a pet mince, so even dogs and cats can enjoy a taste of the local seafood.
Glen and Tracy have long supported the Farmers Market movement in SA, previously attending the Limestone Coast markets, then the Barossa Farmers Market with fresh fish. They now have two stalls, one at the Adelaide Showgrounds Farmers market and the other at the Willunga Farmers Market which have proved very successful. The fresh fish packs and smoked fish are being joined by other new product lines as they are developed.