Spanish authorities prioritize canned seafood

Reinforcing its global objectives, Spain’s leading tuna and mussel canner, Grupo Calvo, is to undergo a major expansion program pushing sales in America and China while strengthening its presence in North Africa, Brazil and Argentina.

Despite tough trading times, the Galicia-based company has maintained sales in Spain with 14 percent market share of canned light tuna in vegetable oil and 8.4 percent share in canned mussels, creating 150 new jobs in its two factories at Carballo and Esteiro in Galicia last year.

Operating in 70 countries across five continents with 77 percent of its sales outside Spain, Enrique Orge, director general for Europe, reaffirmed the company’s commitment to the American continent, where the United States already has a “modest structure” from which to reach audiences on the East Coast with the Nostromo brand and recent retail chain alliances to supply tuna sandwiches.

Brazil is a target for further expansion where Calvo’s Gomes da Costa brand enjoys 50 percent market share, and, according to Orge, the group’s “structure continues to grow” in Argentina.

Having previously announced its expansion into China with a focus on selling tuna salad, sardines and paté, industry observers are waiting to hear more from the company about the size, nature and detail of this venture.  

Family owned until this past April, Calvo reportedly sold a 38 percent stake in its business to Italian canned fish company Bolton Group for EUR 100 million (USD 132 million).

Placing a strategic priority on the canned seafood sector, Spain’s secretary general of fisheries, Carlos Domínguez, will focus on improving all phases of the value chain to boost growth and revitalize the sector, “defending it in all negotiations and international forums.”

Speaking at the Fourth World Conference of Canned Seafood from 10 to 11 September, hosted in Galicia by industry organization ANFACO-CECOPESCA, Domínguez’s value-chain improvements will flow from extraction through processing to marketing of fishery products “on the basis that we are already leaders in the European market and increasingly present in the world market.”

The conference addressed the future of the canned seafood community within the framework of forthcoming reforms to the Common Fisheries Policy, during which Galicia’s canning industry professionals will contribute to discussions with European Union and Food and Agriculture Organization.


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