… As entity continues to be driven by quality
By Hilary Mare
ETOSHA Fishing Managing Director, Pieter Greeff, has highlighted significant investments that have been made over the past five years, to ensure improved quality and the operational efficiency of the company.
Highlighting just a few of the improvements, Greeff, in a statement this past week, explained that the company most recently invested N$5.5 million to upgrade the thawing system in its cannery, which increased its capacity to thaw fish from 120 million tons (MT) per 24-hour shift to around 180MT per 24-hour shift.
“With Namibia’s pilchard resource under pressure for some years now, Etosha Fishing has been importing frozen pilchards for processing on local soil since 2010, which has contributed significantly to the creation and sustaining of additional local jobs, despite poor pilchard catches,” he said.
In addition, one of its trawler vessels, Iona, was upgraded and overhauled at a cost of N$17 million, to enable Etosha Fishing to catch horse mackerel in Namibian waters.
A reverse osmosis plant and can drying system was installed in its processing plant, to reduce product rust, due to the unsuitability of the Walvis Bay water for can cooling. This has reduced product loss, due to rust, by 98 percent. In addition the brine effluent of the reverse osmosis plant is added to the seawater treatment plant, to augment supply of seawater to the cannery.
“As an environmentally conscious corporate citizen, the company implemented an energy management plan, to reduce electricity usage. Another energy saving measure includes the installation of a new preheating system for boiler water, based on the use of waste fish cartons as fuel, thereby reducing the fuel required for its boiler water heating,” Greeff added.
Etosha Fishing also won four of the five large enterprise categories at the 5th Annual National Quality Awards, hosted by the Namibian Standards Institution (NSI) in November, scooping the Company of the Year, Exporter of the Year and Product of the Year gongs.
Etosha Fishing Quality Manager, Linekela Kapundja, also received the Individual Award for Quality.
In 2015, Etosha Fishing managed the same feat by winning all four categories, before going on to win Company of the Year and Exporter of the Year at the 2014/15 Southern African Development Community (SADC) Quality Awards.
“With this achievement, the company will once again pit itself against other winners from the SADC region at the next annual SADC Quality Awards,” the company said.
The company has shown consistent results in the Quality Awards since 2013, when it came second in the Large Enterprise Quality Award category, and going on to win the Large Enterprise Quality Award, Exporter of the Year and Individual Quality Award in 2014.
Etosha Fishing is a leading player in the Namibian fishing industry and operates in a business environment where its customers are the market leaders in the canned pilchard industry on the subcontinent, including the revered Lucky Star and Glenryck brands. Its cannery is a world leader in fish processing, with advanced automated equipment unrivalled in Southern Africa.
The company broke ground in 2013, with the introduction of its own EFUTA Maasbanker brand, leading the way in value-addition, by canning locally caught horse mackerel. This has satisfied an emerging need in the market for a good quality product alternative, at a time when economic hardship has caused many consumers to move away from higher-end products. The venture also allowed for a more sustainable business operation, with longer-term employment for more Namibians. Since the introduction of EFUTA Maasbanker to the local retail market, at the start of 2014, sales volumes have increased five-fold.
EFUTA Maasbanker was the first Namibian canned product to receive the NSI Standard Mark of Conformity product endorsement, and proudly carries the Team Namibia logo. Along with all other canned products, EFUTA Maasbanker is Halaal certified.
Etosha Fishing’s factory also carries Kosher certification by the Union of Orthodox Synagogues of South Africa.
“This means that our products can be consumed by people of any culture or religion. Through these certifications, our products act as ambassadors for the Namibian manufacturing and food industry outside of Namibia,” Greeff added.
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