AquaChile zips Verlasso salmon-laden jumbo jet to Miami

Published on
January 21, 2020

Chilean salmon and trout farmer AquaChile has filled up a Boeing 747 jumbo jet with 105 metric tons (MT) of salmon and sent it directly to Miami, Florida, U.S.A.

A “healthy part” of the shipment was comprised of Verlasso salmon, the company’s premium brand, the company announced in a statement. It said the move bypassed a logjam at the Santiago, Chile air terminal – the main artery for transporting Chilean salmon to the United States – allowing it to maintain its business commitments both in the United States and in China.

“This operation is unique in Chile and it is the first time in history that a charter flight of these dimensions is set up exclusively for a salmon company,” AquaChile Supply Chain Manager Matías Silva said. “We are reaching our customers in the destination markets faster and in better conditions.”

Silva said Acosta y Aguayo handled the cargo logistics in partnership with Atlas Air and AquaChile’s logistics team.

Verlasso was the first farmed fish to achieve the Good Alternative rating by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch. Chef and television personality Andrew Zimmern, executive producer and host of the Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods” and “The Zimmern List,” was enlisted last year by the Verlasso brand to document  AquaChile's production methods at is salmon production facility in Chile. The project formed part of the development of a documentary spearheaded by Zimmern's production company to follow the aquaculture firm’s salmon production process from egg to plate. 

In related news, in October 2019, AquaChile finished construction on a USD 21 million (EUR 19.1 million) expansion of its Quellón salmon processing plant, which it says makes the facility the world’s largest and most modern. The 8,000-square-meter plant has an annual production capacity of 140,000 MT, employs some 1,000 workers, and will process half of the company’s total production. 

AquaChile claims that its monthly production allows for the healthy feeding of more than 150 million people a month around the world. With USD 1.2 billion (EUR 1 billion) in 2018 sales and 188,050 tons of harvested salmon and trout in 2019, AquaChile has commercial presence in 40 countries, with more than 350 direct customers. It has 5,515 employees in Chile, 15 freshwater facilities, and 139 farming sites at sea. Its main export destinations are the U.S. (36 percent), Japan (20 percent), and Latin America (12 percent). 

The company is Chile’s largest salmon producer and the second-largest worldwide, resulting from a 2018 sector consolidation that brought a number of actors – AquaChile, Los Fiordos, Salmones Magallanes, and Friosur salmon area assets – under the same umbrella.

Photo courtesy of AquaChile

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