The quick freezing plant Hradfrystihusid ltd. was founded January 19, 1941 by several fishermen at Hnifsdalur and by other civic minded citizens of the area.
The first directors of the company were Pall Palsson (Chairman), Hjortur Gudmundsson and Elias Ingimarsson, who also served as the first chief executive of the company. Einar Steindorsson took over that role in 1946 and served until 1977, when Konrad Jakobsson succeeded him. Konrad served until October 2, 1999. The current chief executive of Hradfrystihusid Gunnvor Ltd. is Einar Valur Kristjansson
The initial mission of the company was to build a freezing plant in the village of Hnifsdalur to freeze and sell all kinds of fish and bait herring as is stated in the Articles of Organization. Immediately after the company was formed, plans were made for the construction of the freezing plant and for the acquisition of production machinery.
Midfell Ltd. was formed in 1964 as a subsidiary of Hradfrysihusid Ltd. Midfell set about to have a 24 ton steel hulled fishing vessel built in East Germany. This vessel was christened „Gudrun Gudleifsdottir“ and bore the registration number IS-102. By this action Hradfrystihusid Ltd. began to control the harvesting of its own catch and reduced its reliance on raw material acquisition by purchasing the catch of others.
In 1971 a sea change took place in the operations when the Board of Midfell approved the construction of a new stern trawler in Japan. This vessel was given the name „Pall Palsson IS-102“. The ship arrived in Iceland at the beginning of 1973 and its arrival meant increased and a more secure supply of raw material for the freezing plant. In addition to the new vessel, the facilities of the freezing plant were rebuilt from the ground up between 1972 and 1974.
In the latter part of 1995 significant changes were made in the operations and ownership of the company, which had been a closed share company with restrictions on transfers of shares. At a meeting of the Board on December 20th it was decided to open up the ownership of the company’s shares and to diversify the production of the company. At a shareholder‘s meeting on January 19, 1997 the Board presented its proposals. Further to the proposals the Board was in agreement that merger talks be started with Frosti Ltd. in nearby Sudavik. As a consequence the companies were merged into a stronger company under the name of Hradfrystihusid Ltd. Midfell was also merged into the new company. Earlier, on January 1, 1997, Frosti‘s subsidiary, Alftfirdingur Ltd. had been merged into Frosti Ltd.
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Frosti‘s plant in Sudavik
On January 1, 1998 Hradfrystihusid merged with Kroksnes LLC who operated the fishing vessel Orn IS-18 that worked the inshore shrimp fishery in the fjord waters of Isafjordur. The company controlled a quota equivalent to 200 tons of Cod. On June 30, 1998 Utgerdafelagid Oddur merged with Hradfrystihusid Ltd. Oddur operated the fishing boat „Gunnar Sigurdsson IS-13“ which was also working the Isafjordur innshore shrimp fishery with its own Cod equivalent quota of 65 tons.
The Gunnvor Ltd. company had been formed on October 7, 1955 by Johann Juliusson, Thordur Juliusson and Jon B. Jonsson and their wives. The company was capitalized with ISK 18,000 and the mission of the company was to buy and sell fish and other sea products and to buy fishing ships.
The company‘s first vessel was „Gunnvor, IS-207“ which had been launched on May 19, 1956. The company owned „Gunnvor, IS-207“ until 1966 and she proved herself to be an excellent vessel. While she was being constructed, the company leased two other boats.
Gunnvor‘s first stern trawler arrived at the end of 1972. It had been constructed in Norway and displaced 407 tons.
In 1989 the company bought a new fillet freezing trawler that had been constructed in Stettin, Poland and with that Gunnvor started freezing at sea operations.
On November 11, 1999 the Boards of Hardfrystihusid-Gunnvor Ltd., Ishusfelag Isfirdinga Ltd., Mjolvinnslan Ltd., Hardfiskstodinn LLC., Fiskidjan LLC and Tog LLC signed an agreement at Isafjodur to merge. The plan was that all of the companies would merge into one company and that the shareholders in those five companies would become owners of Hradfrytihusid-Gunnvor Ltd. In the plan a target date of June 1, 1999 was set. The merger was then approved at a shareholder‘s meeting on December 29, 1999.