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Calvo Salvador Aims To Obtain 40,000 Tons Of Raw Material Tuna

With 55 vessels landing about 32,000 tons of tuna catches last year at Grupo Calvo’s El Salvador processing plant, the company this year hopes to raise its raw material receipts to 40,000 tons, despite the low domestic tuna consumption.

As the leader in the Spanish market with its own ‘Calvo’ brand the company targets to obtain an increased amount of whole round frozen tuna in El Salvador, which will be fished in the high seas of the EPO from the Galapagos Islands to Hawaii. Also raw material imports from the WCP can be used for exports to other markets than the EU.

So far this year, the tuna plant has unloaded already 35 fishing vessels, of which nine hold the Salvadoran flag and supplied in June a catch of around 800 tons for the Calvo Group.

“This year the arrival of vessels to the country could grow up to 30 percent compared to last year”, says Joss Raul Parada, Calvo’s El Salvador director.

Last May, Michael Penalva, Calvo Group’s CEO for Central America and the Caribbean said: “The idea is to source 40,000 tons of raw material that is needed for the company to compete with Ecuador, which has a fleet of 100 ships, and also Mexico that has much more capacity than us”. He explained that El Salvador is unable to obtain enough tuna raw material from its own purse seiner fleet, and therefore needs to increase the amount of vessels to develop and compete within the industry.

In order to reach the desired supply level of raw material, an increase of two boats for this year has been estimated for the company, but this expansion is dependent on the support and permission of the authorities towards more boats within the IATTC area flying the Salvadoran flag.

Employees of the Spanish group produce in El Salvador 160-170 tons of canned tuna daily, of which around 75 percent is exported to the EU with the rest going to Colombia, Libya, USA, Canada, Central America, Taiwan and the Caribbean.

Compared to countries like Costa Rica, where consumption rates are around 3kg per person per year, El Salvador’s consumption is far lower at 90 grams, with similar rates to Panama, Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala. Calvo has a 40% market share in the local market.