Fishing giant put its money in aquaculture

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Kate Casey News gathered from Vision Acuicola, April 2007 Food Corp S.A., a company that started with a commercial fishing fleet and processing plant 700 km. north of Puerto Montt, has recently branched into aquaculture due to a strong push by it’s new shareholders Austevoll and Leroy Seafood ASA, which jointly own 45% of the Chilean company. Food Corp S.A. is the second commercial fishing company that has recently looked into aquaculture as an alternative business and more sustainable investment for the future. Although the company generates sales of US$40 million annually with its 5 fishing boats, loading platform and processing plant for fishery products primarily of mackerel, sardine and anchovy; the company decided to make its first move towards aquaculture based products in 2006 by investing US$9 million in the recently built mussel cannery Fiordo Austral, in Puerto Montt. And while the purchase agreement between Austevoll and Leroy Seafood ASA was in the works, Food Corp S.A. knew what plans lay further ahead. According to operations manager Gustavo Izquierdo, the company already has three salmon farming concessions officially approved in the Puerto Montt region and is in the process of applying for more. Applying for an aquaculture concession in Chile is a gruelling bureaucratic process that can take well over a year. It is not clear yet whether the company will focus on salmon or mussel production, but it is certainly preparing for the growth of new products. Food Corp S.A. is building a cold storage facility with a capacity of 10,000 tons in the fishing port town of Coronel, located near its processing plant.