Cooke Inc. branches into shrimp production with Seajoy acquisition
Cooke Inc. announced on 1 February it has finalized its acquisition of Seajoy Seafood Corporation, one of Latin America’s largest producers of farmed shrimp, with operations in Honduras and Nicaragua.
SeafoodSource previously reported on the acquisition, which was completed in November 2018, but the formal announcement came after the companies finalized the details of the transaction.
“The acquisition of Seajoy is an important element in our focus on product diversification to meet our customers’ needs,” Cooke CEO Glenn Cooke said in a press release. “Seajoy is a world-leading shrimp producer utilizing the highest quality and food safety standards and newest available technology. This aligns perfectly with our existing aquaculture and wild seafood fishery divisions. We feel Seajoy’s entrepreneurial drive, industry knowledge and care for their communities has made them successful and a big reason why we feel this is an incredible cultural fit.”
The purchase gives Cooke Inc., the parent company of Black Harbour, New Brunswick, Canada-based Cooke Aquaculture, an avenue to expand its product repertoire to include shrimp. Seajoy is one of the largest vertically integrated, premium shrimp farms in Latin America, with a focus on producing value-added and organic Pacific white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) and selling to customers in Europe, the Americas, and Asia.
“The company runs world class operations from ‘egg to plate’ and many of its 1,400 employees have significant long-term experience in the industry,” Cooke said. “Seajoy carries a brand synonymous with product excellence and environmental leadership.”
The terms of the deal were not released.
The Seajoy Group has almost 3,500 hectares, or 8,650 acres, of Pacific white shrimp farms, according to the company. In addition, the company operates a 6,000-square-meter processing plant in Choluteca, Honduras, capable of producing 100,000 pounds of finished product daily, and has cold storage capacity of up to one million pounds of finished product. A majority of the shrimp it sells has some kind of added value, from peeled deveined to butterfly to cooked shrimp and skewers.
In addition, Seajoy holds four-star Best Aquaculture Practices, Aquaculture Stewardship Council, British Retail Consortium, and Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA) certifications. It also produces shrimp that qualify up to the European Union organic standard.
Cooke Vice President of Communications and Public Relations Joel Richardson previously told SeafoodSource the new acquisition falls in line with the company’s efforts to add value to the firm’s products and offer more species. Following the acquisition, Cooke will be able to offer 17 core species, Richardson said.
Former Seajoy CEO Peder Jacobson said he's happy to see his firm move under the control of the Cooke family.
“We founded Seajoy in Ecuador in 1979, just six years before the Cooke family started Cooke Aquaculture in New Brunswick in 1985,” Jacobson said. “Our families drive as pioneering entrepreneurs and our employees’ determination over the years has resulted in two successful independent seafood companies and now I am extremely pleased to have Seajoy join the Cooke family of companies.”
Photo courtesy of Seajoy Seafood Corporation