Where quality is the credo

Delivering products of exceptional quality to local markets.

25 February 2020 | Supplements

Etosha Fishing Corporation, formerly known as the Walvis Bay Canning Company, pioneered Namibia’s fishing industry in the 1940s with the country’s first fishmeal and canning plant.

Today the company which manages the only remaining operational cannery in Walvis Bay is a leading player in the Namibian fishing industry and considered to be one of the foremost round-can production facilities in Southern Africa.

The company is the proud Namibian home of the iconic and market-leading Lucky Star canned pilchard brand. It was also one of the first companies to successfully can Namibia’s own horse mackerel, establishing the well-known Efuta Maasbanker brand in 2013.

“Etosha Fishing operates in a business environment where its largest customers are the market leaders for canned fish in Southern Africa. It has been canning Lucky Star pilchards since 1999 and in recent years, also started canning pilchards for other leading brands,” says Etosha Fishing Managing Director Nezette Beukes.

Beukes adds that these superior canned pilchard brands sell at a premium price in the market due to its quality. Going beyond regulatory requirements, Etosha Fishing delivers products of exceptional quality.

Canned fish is a key source of protein on the subcontinent. Canned pilchards form the single largest component of this market. Etosha Fishing’s products contain no preservatives, is high in Omega 3 fatty acids, protein and selenium.

World-class cannery

According to Quality Assurance Manager Linekela Kapundja, Etosha Fishing’s cannery is a world leader in processing and automation with some of the most advanced automated equipment used for processing fish and quality monitoring.

The company has established a quality management system based on the principle of ISO9001, a standard that organisations the world over use to demonstrate the ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and regulatory requirements.

The company also uses HACCP as a measure to control food safety risks, which is certified by the Namibian Standards Institution (NSI) through an inspection and audit program. All products are inspected by the NSI and the South African National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) for compliance with canned food manufacturing regulations.

“All these efforts have placed Etosha Fishing products among the best quality canned products, not just in Namibia, but in Africa and worldwide. Our products can be consumed by people of any culture or religion and through these certifications our products act as ambassadors to the Manufacturing and Food Industry outside of Namibia,” says Kapundja.

Testimony to this is the fact that Etosha Fishing has asserted its position as a leading producer of quality canned fish products on several occasions.

In 2015 and consecutively since 2017, the company has won three of the five large enterprise categories at the annual National Quality Awards, namely Company of the Year, Exporter of the Year and Product of the Year. The National Quality Awards is hosted by the Namibian Standards Institution (NSI).

Local value addition - Proudly Namibian products

In partnership with its sister company, Erongo Marine Enterprises, Etosha Fishing in 2013 pioneered local value addition of horse mackerel under its own EFUTA Maasbanker brand.

The word “EFUTA” originates from the Oshiwambo language meaning “from the sea”, while the prominent bright pink label design is derived from the traditional Ondelela colours.

It became one of the first fishing companies to successfully can Namibia’s national fish, thereby sustaining jobs at its factory. This value addition venture was in direct response to an on-going appeal by the fisheries ministry for employment creation and value addition in the horse mackerel sector, which is in line with government’s NDP5 and Vision 2030 policy framework.

EFUTA was the first Namibian canned product to receive the NSI’s Standard Mark of Conformity product endorsement. The EFUTA products are also Halaal certified and carry the Team Namibia product mark.

Initially launched in three flavours, namely tomato sauce, chilli and salt water, the company in 2018 added a curry flavour. It also introduced its own canned EFUTA Pilchard product in the same year.

Since the introduction of EFUTA Maasbanker to the local retail market in 2014, the consumers’ response was extremely positive and sales have increased five-fold with a total of nearly 5 million cans sold annually. Exceptionally low in cost, high in protein and especially rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, EFUTA Maasbanker is the most affordable, nutritious and best quality meal money can buy.

Sustaining business despite tough times

As a result of a three-year moratorium imposed on pilchard catches in 2017, Etosha Fishing in 2019 was forced to sell its three purse seine vessels, resulting in the retrenchment of 19 of its sea-going staff.

“Despite efforts to fish in foreign waters to sustain jobs and the running costs of our vessels, we were left with no other choice but to sell our vessels to keep the company afloat. Low catch rates and the financial burden of operating our vessels in foreign waters just did not make this option feasible any longer,” Beukes says.

However, despite the uphill battle Etosha Fishing has managed to ensure that its cannery remains operational with the assistance of its main shareholder, the Oceana Group. The company has been importing frozen pilchards for local value addition, mostly for the Group’s Lucky Star brand.

“We cannot afford to close the doors of Walvis Bay’s last operational cannery. We have to ensure that our 600+ employees retain their jobs, even if it means operating at break-even level,” Beukes stresses. “Of course, we also have a duty to protect our shareholders’ investment.”

She highlights that the importation of frozen pilchards comes at an extreme cost: “The high demand for pilchards globally combined with a volatile exchange rate, and the high cost associated with the importation of raw materials and consumables, does not make this a sustainable, long-term solution.”

Etosha Fishing is one of the few fishing operators that imports raw product to be processed on local soil before being exported, earning valuable foreign currency for Namibia.

In response to a dwindling local pelagic resource during the past decade, Etosha Fishing has been importing frozen pilchards since 2010. Although the canning of Namibian horse mackerel initiated in 2013 has allowed for a slightly more sustainable fisheries operation, it does not produce the volumes to keep the company afloat.

Despite the headwinds, Etosha Fishing remains committed to its corporate social responsibility. The company supplies canned pilchards to seven schools across Walvis Bay, feeding approximately 2 600 learners every day during school days.

The feeding scheme is coordinated through the Promiseland Trust, a non-profit welfare organisation that cares for and assists disadvantaged and destitute children in the poor communities of Walvis Bay.

Similar News

 

More than just a label

6 months ago - 25 February 2020 | Supplements

Although labels are critical when delivering and marketing a product and therefore need to have the right text, logos and information, this is not all....

Ensuring Sulphur Cap compliance

6 months ago - 25 February 2020 | Supplements

Over the past months many vessel owners in the local maritime and fishing industry have been preparing for the new International Maritime Organisation (IMO) 2020...

Unlocking trade potential

6 months ago - 25 February 2020 | Supplements

The Botswana Dry Port facility in Walvis Bay has been growing steadily since inception. It was opened in 2015 after an agreement was reached between...

Standing tall in Lüderitz

6 months ago - 25 February 2020 | Supplements

A merger with Mekarilakha Fishing in 2016 made it possible for Marco Fishing, one of the smaller hake quota holders, to steadily increase its focus...

An asset to Namibia’s port facilities

6 months ago - 25 February 2020 | Supplements

Commercial Cold Storage Namibia (CCS) is Namibia’s largest and most advanced cold store and the state of the art facility is an integral part of...

Driven by empowerment

6 months ago - 25 February 2020 | Supplements

The Tunacor Group Ltd which is known by many today, has come a long way since its establishment in Walvis Bay more than 60 years...

ISO accreditations for Namport

6 months ago - 25 February 2020 | Supplements

The Namibia Ports Authority (Nam­port) once again secured and received its accreditations from the International Standards Organizations (ISO). This follows after a successful external audit...

HAFA drives job creation

6 months ago - 25 February 2020 | Supplements

Henties Bay The Hanganeni Artisanal Fishing Association (HAFA) is one of the few member-based associations that was established by the people, through...

Marine giant dedicated to education

6 months ago - 25 February 2020 | Supplements

Kraatz Marine Engineering has been a leader in their field since opening in 1947. In addition, the company is also been equipping future leaders of...

For all your outdoor needs

6 months ago - 25 February 2020 | Supplements

Swakopmund The fourth Outdoor Centre opened for business in Swakopmund in December 2015. The other branches are based in Windhoek, Keetmanshoop and Otjiwarongo. Outdoor Centre...

Latest News

Kauhaie wins the crown

31 minutes ago | Art and Entertainment

Swakopmund • [email protected] Kauhaie was crowned Miss Teen Swakopmund 2020 during the final hosted at The Loft on Saturday evening.She said that she was overjoyed...

Weekend marred by rape and...

40 minutes ago | Crime

Walvis Bay • [email protected] It was a bloody weekend for the Erongo region, with an alleged gang rape and a murder reported in the first...

Mine employee collapses, dies

48 minutes ago | Local News

An employee of the CGN Swakop Uranium mine passed away after he collapsed while working at the mine on Saturday, chief executive Cai Yusheng confirmed....

Lower grades back to school...

1 day - 19 September 2020 | Education

Walvis Bay • [email protected] Grade four, five and six learners were welcomed back at school on Monday. Government schools have opted to divide...

Learn to mask it!

1 day - 19 September 2020 | Events

Swakopmund • [email protected] Swakopmund Scientific Society (SSS) announced that it will host a mask-making workshop.According to the SSS’s public relations officer (PRO) Irina Ivanova, both...

More recoveries, three Covid-19 deaths

1 day - 19 September 2020 | Health

The deputy minister of health and social services Dr Eshter Muinjangue announced 85 new Covid-19 cases, 109 recoveries and three deaths. Muinjangue said that 1...

More Covid-19 recoveries recorded

2 days ago - 18 September 2020 | Health

The deputy minister of health and social services Dr Esther Muinjangue announced 114 new Covid-19 cases as well as 183 recoveries on Thursday. Muinjangue said...

Some restrictions to remain in...

2 days ago - 18 September 2020 | Health

Walvis Bay •[email protected] With the State of Emergency regulations coming to an end, a number of regulations will either remain in force or be discontinued....

State of emergency ends

3 days ago - 17 September 2020 | Government

President Hage Geingob announced that the State of Emergency will not be extended upon expiration at midnight on Thursday. The State of Emergency was declared...

Load More