Philippines food major enters lucrative PNG tuna scene

19/01/2012

Major Philippines food industry player Century Food Group has entered into a three-way tie up with leading global tuna supplier Thai Union and Philippines fishing company Frabelle. <!--more-->The new entity, called Majestic Seafoods Corporation, plans to build a tuna processing plant in Papua New Guinea with an investment of $20 million.

Century Food Group has said it chose Papua New Guinea as its first overseas tuna-processing venture because the country was closest to the most productive tuna grounds in the world. The plant, which will be one third owned by the group, is expected to be fully operational soon.

Industry observers say the three partners are greatly experienced in the business and their coming together augurs well for Papua New Guinea’s fishing industry. Frabelle already has experience working in the country with an operational processing plant. It also has similar facilities in Indonesia.

But perhaps the conglomerate’s biggest strength comes from the third partner – Thai Union Group – which is the world’s biggest tuna canning company and a leading producer and exporter of frozen and canned seafood in Thailand. It is credited with supplying about a fifth of the entire global demand for canned tuna.

It is unclear if the conglomerate will launch into fishing operations of its own in the medium term. The Papua New Guinea government requires prospective fishing companies wishing to operate in its territorial waters to initially build and operate downstream processing plants in the interests of generating for its local economy through value addition and employment.

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Photo / Thai Union Group

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