Delicate trading environment for Galician mussel, tuna
The Autonomous Community of Galicia — Spain’s seafood production powerhouse — starts a year which can only get better judging by the shape of the region’s industry at the end of 2012.
Reports of the region’s mussel market collapsing due to payment defaults by Italy and France coincided with the announcement of the closure of Grupo Conservas Garavilla/Conservas Cuca’s tuna canning factory in Vilagarcía de Arousa, leaving 400 unemployed.
Manuel García Piñeiro, technical secretary of the Galician Association of Mussel Purifiers (AGADE), looked on the bright side, saying: “Although the situation isn't good economically with some companies experiencing 40 percent fewer payments, this difficulty does not affect the whole industry.
“Income per capita is a factor to consider in estimating mussel demand, along with consumer tastes, which may make it a difficult year in 2013. However, the geographical proximity of our core markets for quality product will reposition mussel as in past times. Current mussel consumption is recognized as rich in proteins for health, and year-round cultivation means regularized, guaranteed production.”
In related regional news, Atuna trade organization reported the closure of Conservas Garavilla/Conservas Cuca’s tuna canning factory in Vilagarcía de Arousa. Owner of Spain’s second largest tuna brand, Isabel, all production is to transfer to its existing plant 14 kilometers away in O Grove — a move which many fear could leave 400 people unemployed.
Citing a profit motive behind the merged business, rather than to cushion financial losses, the O Grove plant will produce Garavilla’s Isabel, Cuca and Masso brands, and a global expansion strategy aims to take sales to EUR 369 million (USD 483 million) by 2014.