Although canned tuna was its best-selling product in the first half-year, Grupo Herdez announced it is selling its canned tuna brand Nair, which accounted for only 1.4 percent of the company’s turnover in 2019. The parent company of the Mexican giant in processed food, KUO Group, stated that it has signed agreements to sell the Nair brand and also the tuna processing and packaging plant in Chiapas but did not reveal the new owners.
In June, Herdez sold its six tuna vessels of which three were purchased by Pesca Azteca. In a statement, KUO Group confirmed that tuna-based products will continue to be sold under the Herdez brand, however, these will be produced by third parties. According to its website, the KUO Group is a global business conglomerate that has business units in consumer goods, chemical, and automotive, in over 70 countries.
The new CEO of the Japanese company Maruha Nichiro, Ken Ikemi, said that in order to survive the current challenges derivating from the COVID-19 pandemic, the business needs to focuss more on close-cycle bluefin farming and less on wild fisheries. Currently, the company faces stagnating volumes and concerns about shrinking natural resources.
Maruha Nichiro set up a division to focus on bluefin farming in 2010. However, while the technology is advanced, the product is still struggling to be accepted by among Japanese consumers. On the other hand, the product has found a strong market in Europe, where the company is looking for future overseas ventures.
The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Deal (EVFTA) enables Vietnam to export 11,500 M/T of canned tuna duty-free based on origin fish to the economic block per year. However, the agreement came in force on August 1 and the EU has allocated the tariff-rate quota (TRQ) of 4,792 M/T for the remaining five months of 2020. Still, this volume represents 290 20ft containers that could boost Vietnamese deliveries.
According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), the country’s exports of canned tuna and pouches to Europe declined in the first half of the year due to lockdown measures because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, Vietnamese tuna products could not compete with producers from the Philippines and Ecuador, as these nations have zero duty rates.