Filipino tuna exporters seek canning facilities in India
Frabelle Fishing Corp. (FFC), one of the largest tuna fishing and canning operators in the Philippines, has expressed interest in exploring business opportunities in India, including purchasing raw products and setting up canning facilities in this South Asian country.
âIndia has the potential to produce 230,000 metric tonnes of tuna per year, of which 40% is skipjack and the rest is bigeye and yellowfin. This is something worth considering by installing the facility or at least purchasing more materials to supply existing Philippine factories in the western and central Pacific, âsaid FFC President. , Francisco Tiu Laurel, at the recently held first India-Philippines Marine Fisheries & Aquatic Business Conference (IPM-ABC) virtual conference.
Philippine tuna companies, in addition to owning fishing fleets, operate canning facilities overseas, such as in Papua New Guinea, Vietnam and Indonesia. About 86% of the fish are kept in bags, the rest in tuna loins.
âIn the 1960s the boats were much smaller than they are today. Now we are competing with the best in the world with the big purse seine fishing vessels, âLaurel said at the IPM-ABC co-hosted by the Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food ( PCAFI).
FFC’s activities cover deep sea fishing, aquaculture, canning, food manufacturing, food processing, importing and trading, cold storage, shipyard operations, development of wharves, real estate development and electricity production.
âWe are also prepared to expand our tuna fleet where we are invited to fish. It’s something pretty encouraging to watch in India, âLaurel added.
Frabelle operates a fleet of over 100 vessels and employs around 5,000 people. Its seafood is marketed all over the world, particularly in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, South Africa and the United States.
Speaking at the same conference, Indian fisheries authorities and industry representatives welcomed the measures aimed at expanding trade cooperation between the two countries in the fisheries sector.
âTuna offers excellent investment opportunities in India. We recognize the Philippines as a world leader in tuna processing. You come to India and you invest directly, âsaid Cherian Cherian Kurian, Managing Director of India HIC-ABF Special Foods, a food manufacturer.
âThe Indian government has announced a policy to exploit these [fishery] Resources. Today we are canning in India, but the volume is so low. “
PCAFI President Danilo Fausto noted that the fishing industry in the Philippines provides jobs for more than 1.6 million people, 85% of whom come from municipal fisheries, 14% from the aquaculture industry and 1 % of commercial fishing.
âThe fishing industry accounts for around 2% of the country’s gross domestic product and 15% of its total agricultural production,â Fausto added.
Tuna is the Philippines’ largest seafood export, valued at US $ 300-400 million per year.
The country exports 90% of its tuna production, mainly to the European Union, where it enjoys a preferential duty, as well as to the United States, the Middle East, Japan and Australia.