By Chris Dove, SeafoodSource contributing editor, reporting from Malaga, Spain
Published on 02 April, 2012
Gourmet “Selectos del Mar” seafood from Pescados y Salazones La Higuerita has found its way to Lidl supermarkets in Germany, France and England, representing a significant boost to capacity at its new production facility in the Spanish town of Ayamonte in Huelva, Andalucía.
The tuna, cod, hake, salmon and octopus processor, with headquarters in the Huelva port of Isla Cristina, first introduced its Products of our Earth brand to Carrefour followed by its “heat-and-eat” Platomar range. The company entered the international marketplace with its Deluxe brand distributed in Lidl supermarkets, including Spain, Portugal, France, Holland, Belgium and Switzerland.
According to Spain’s Fisheries Ministry, La Higuerita has “totally renovated the company following its technological adaptation to new market expectations,” having invested more than EUR 6 million (USD 8 million) in various remodeling phases, including the expansion and improvement of its industrial estate at Ayamonte in 2007 with co-financing from the European Fisheries Fund (EEF).
Manuel Flores Cardosa, head of the family-owned company, said the investments “experienced a notable increase in production yields of around 20 percent.”
A subsequent EUR 1.5 million (USD 2 million) investment in new machinery and infrastructure optimization included a new technical system of atmospheric skin sealing to protect product packaging, co-financed by EUR 218,185 (USD 291,315) from the EFF.
As well as Lidl and Carrefour, the company’s range is distributed in supermarkets throughout Spain, including Sánchez Romero Carvajal, SuperSol, El Jamón, Leclerc and El Corte Inglés.
Recent months have seen La Higuerita enter the canned fish sector as a residual presence behind small volumes produced by third parties that sell in Higuerita’s street store in Isla Cristina.
The company is final machine testing and distribution planning at the Ayamonte plant, with company sources predicting the start of production at the plant no later than the second half of 2012.
In 2010, the company was awarded a regional government prize for economic diversification for its innovative product formats.