Quality and Traceability

As provided for by law, food and feed safety systems are the basis for the operation of all the operating units of the company. Such systems assess all the raw materials and each step of the production in light of the risks involved. These are then systematically minimised. All the products of the company are produced in accordance with these quality systems. All the operating units are subject to the official monitoring of the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority (Matvælastofnun, MAST), which makes sure that laws and regulations are complied with. MAST’s monitoring operations are based on inspections, which in some cases are carried out without any notice.

In land-based units, these systems are based on international standards. The company’s operations in the production plants in Reykjavík and Vopnafjörður are certified in accordance with the IFS standard (International Featured Standard). This is an internationally recognised standard and one of the most used in the field of food safety. These main standards of food safety are co-ordinated under the banner of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).

The proportion of the company’s products produced in operating units with certification from a third party with respect to international food safety standards was 69%.

Place of work Place of work Certification
Norðurgarður – Fish processing plant IFS foods IFS foods
Vopnafjörður – Fish processing plant IFS foods IFS foods
Vopnafjörður – Pelagic fish freezing plant IFS foods IFS foods
Akranes – Pelagic fish freezing plant*
Freezer trawlers

*The production of capelin roes is not included within the scope of certification, as the season is quite short and it is difficult for the inspection parties to examine the production. No capelin fishing and/or production was carried out during the year.


The fish meal and oil plant in Akranes and in Vopnafjörður are certified according to the FEMAS standard (Feed Materials Assurance Scheme). The proportion of the company’s food products produced in operating units with certification from a third party with respect to international food safety standards was 100%.

Place of work Certification Place of work Certification
Vopnafjörður – Fish meal and oil processing plant FEMAS FEMAS
Akranes – Fish meal and oil processing plant FEMAS FEMAS

There were no recalls during the year, neither due to labelling nor for other reasons. During the period covered by the report, there were no documented deviations from the company’s rules as regard the provision of information and labelling of the products of the company.



Brim’s fishing operations rely solely on wild stock, and the company’s products consist, in all cases, of pure and naturally healthy marine produce. The traceability of products is an important part of food production. The food and feed safety system of Brim is based on being able to trace the product from its origins all the way to the customer. Detailed information on catches are recorded, such as fishing areas, fishing gear, the composition of the catch, volumes, etc. The origin of the raw materials being processed is recorded and linked to the finished product. In addition, all information on the end destination of all products is maintained. Thus, all products are traceable from the recipient back to the raw material. This traceability is tested on a regular basis by the company’s internal controls as well as by external audits of the systems of the company, including in audits relating to certifications of origin.

The products of the company are in all cases labelled in accordance with rules on the labelling of marine products. This means that it is always clear what species of fish and fishing area is involved, as well as what type of fishing gear was used. During the period covered by the report, there were no documented deviations from the company’s rules as regard the provision of information and labelling of the products of the company nor has the company been fined for such deviations.


An assessment of customer satisfaction is a part of the company’s certified quality systems. The procedure provides for the assessment reaching customers representing at least 80% of the company’s turnover. This assessment is performed on a yearly basis and was last performed for 2019 in January 2020.


Brim contributes to responsible fisheries through its respectful treatment of the resource that consists of the fish stocks around Iceland. The company complies with all the rules and directives that apply to its fishing operations and is not involved in any way in pirate fisheries (Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing).

It is important to keep the ocean’s ecosystem in as good or better condition for future generations. The future of the company is based on this belief.

Fisheries management in Iceland is subject to the Fisheries Management Act No. 116/2006. The Act is based on the quota system applicable to the species on which limitations to fishing have been placed. This is in accordance with what the international community has defined as good fisheries management as considered by the FAO, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.
The authorities, in consultation with stakeholders, work on ensuring the sustainable use of the resource. Decisions are always based on scientific grounds, based on studies carried out by the Icelandic Marine Research Institute.

Fisheries management efforts in Icelandic waters are based on three fundamental methods:

  • Catch regulations. Developed for each exploitable marine stock. What proportion of the fishing stock is to be fished is determined each year.
  • Regulations controlling the fishing equipment used. Emphasis is placed on selective equipment, with the aim of catching only the species and size of fish sought.
  • Protection and closure of specific areas. This means that certain equipment is banned in specific areas or that the area is completely closed to fishing. This is done to protect, for example, spawning and juvenile fish.


In 2007, the declaration on Iceland’s responsible fishing was issued. The declaration was signed by the Minister of Fisheries, the Managing Director of the Icelandic Marine Research Institute, the Director of Fisheries and the Chairman of the Directorate of Fisheries. The declaration was in response to market demands for the sustainable use of marine resources and was for the purpose of informing buyers about the manner in which the fisheries industry is managed in Iceland and to show that its management is based on the best scientific knowledge available. In addition, the declaration makes it clear that the Icelandic authorities undertake to comply with all international laws and agreements that they have signed regarding conduct with respect to marine resources.

In 2011, Brim became a founding member of the private non-profit organisation Iceland Responsible Fisheries (Ábyrgar fiskveiðar). The object of the organisation is to own and manage the operation of trademarks relating to responsible fisheries, the preparation and maintenance of agreements for the certification of responsible fisheries, the dissemination of information on the Icelandic fisheries sector with particular focus on the buyers and consumers of Icelandic marine produce and other related tasks. The goal of the organisation is to promote and maintain responsible fisheries for the benefit of future generations.

Certified stocks according to IRF Initial certification Status
Cod December 2010 In effect
Pollock October 2013 In effect
Haddock October 2013 In effect
Golden redfish MaY 2014 In effect
Icelandic summer spawning herring August 2019 In effect

All of Brim’s fishing from these stocks within the Icelandic economic zone falls under the certification of the stocks. The company’s operating units in Reykjavík and Vopnafjörður have, moreover, traceability certifications that confirm that the products produced are traceable from catch to customer (chain of custody).ru rekjanlegar frá veiðum (e. chain of custody).


Brim is a shareholder in ISF (Icelandic Sustainable Fisheries), which was established in 2012 by companies involved in fisheries, production and the sale of Icelandic marine produce. The object of ISF is to obtain certification of fishing gear and fish stocks harvested in the waters around Iceland. ISF seeks certification from the standards of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), and the association’s shareholders have access to certifications for the species fished within the Icelandic economic zone.

All the operating units of the company have the traceability certification from MSC (chain of custody), which permits Brim to sell products processed from MSC-certified stocks as such.


Brim places great importance on taking proper care of the fish stocks that form our resources. The company complies with all rules and resolutions that apply to fisheries and has no involvement in piracy (Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing).


At Brim, it is considered responsible fishing practice to fully utilise all catches that the fishing vessels of the company bring in, in order to maximise value creation. Catch dumping, moreover, is completely illegal according to the Fisheries Management Act.


The Icelandic authorities have established strict rules on the weighing and recording of marine catches, and the employees of Brim make every effort to follow them to the letter. It is of extreme importance for Brim, as well as for the Icelandic fisheries sector in general and the nation as a whole, that the condition of the fish stocks remain healthy and that information on catches and conduct with regard to the marine ecosystem is reliable, traceable and transparent.


The groundfish operations of Brim are carried out almost exclusively with bottom trawls. The fishing operations are in all cases carried out in accordance with Icelandic laws, and all closures are respected, whether temporary closures of areas due to spawning or whether due to the fragile condition of bottom biota.


Birds and a range of marine life forms are sometimes caught in the fishing gear of vessels. The frequency of such incidents depends on what type of fishing is being carried out. Birds have not been caught in the fishing gear of Brim, but every now and then, its trawlers have caught sharks. The sharks are taken ashore for processing. The company’s pelagic vessels have sometimes netted humpback whales, and such instances have delayed fishing while efforts are made to drive them away. Fishing operations are arranged in such a manner that every effort is made to minimise the likelihood that humpback whales get caught in the fishing gear.