By Jason Smith
BRUSSELS, Belgium -- Prior to the recent Brussels seafood show, Montreal, Canada's Ferro Import Export had been focused on selling fresh tuna supplied from artisanal fishermen in Guinea and Sri Lanka.
While that will remain the mainstay of the business, the supplier's CEO, Ibrahim Ferrer, told Undercurrent News that based on some of the preliminary conversations he and his employees had with potential partners and customers in Brussels, the company is considering expanding its presence in Europe as well.
“It was a fantastic show. We need to reconsider the whole strategy and revisit our thinking,” he said.
The trader, which began four years ago selling canned fish, pivoted to Sri Lanka and later Guinea in West Africa when it saw opportunities to supply better quality fresh tuna from small-scale fishermen using traditional fishing methods.
“It was difficult to find fresh products with quality,” Jorge Hans, the company's regional manager for the US, said.
The company, which also has offices in Miami and does its own primary processing in its sourcing countries, has been selling fresh tuna, as well as other species such as grouper, into Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver in Canada as well as Miami and New York in the US.
“We wish to go to Seattle, California,” Hans said.
Ferro is also planning to broaden into frozen tuna exports as a way of giving the communities they work with a chance to sell more fish, Hans said.
He said that adding frozen product will allow the company to offer more stable work to its fishermen as it will allow Ferro to take on higher volumes.
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