What started as a processing, canning, and export facility of canned tuna has now grown into a major business institution that makes cans, processes salmon, and catches its own tuna.
ASFII had set up a marketing representative office in Bangkok, Thailand, in May 2004 to tap the network of buyers and brokers who use Thailand as a base to buy canned tuna.
To enhance margins, ASFII processes the by-products and scraps from its tuna processing operations into fishmeal, which it sells to the domestic and export markets.
ASFII acquired a 40% stake in FDCP, Inc., (FDCP) a can-making company, in September 2005, to ensure the availability of quality cans at competitive prices and sustainable supply. The investment in FDCP has enabled ASFII to improve its product cost structure.
In May 2008, ASFII established a subsidiary, PT International Alliance Foods Indonesia (PT IAFI), which acquired the assets of an Indonesian tuna cannery in Bitung, located in the island of North Sulawesi. ASFII owns 99.98% of PT IAFI. A complete renovation of the factory and upgrade of capacity to 90 metric tons per day was undertaken. PTIAFI started operations in July 2009. This investment in Indonesia allows PT IAFI access to rich Indonesian marine resources and expanded the combined operating capacity of the company’s two canned tuna processing facilities to 230 metric tons per day.
As part of the Parent Company’s product diversification strategy, it invested in a New Zealand-based processor of smoked salmon in January 2009. The initial investment of a 39.00% stake in Prime Foods New Zealand, Ltd. (“PFNZ”) was later increased to 50% plus 1 share of PFNZ. ASFII and PFNZ established a joint venture company called Big Glory Bay Salmon & Seafood, Inc. (“BGB”) that imports salmon from New Zealand and other countries, then processes it in General Santos City, Mindanao, Philippines. The smoked salmon products from BGB are exported globally.
BGB was registered with the BOI on February 26, 2010 as a new export producer of smoked (hot/cold) salmon and its by-products on a non-pioneer status under the Omnibus Investments Code of 1987. This entitles BGB to avail of income tax holidays for four (4) years. The construction for a new facility commenced soon afterwards and the state-of-the-art facility based in General Santos City, Philippines was inaugurated on August 2, 2011. BGB started commercial operation on August 1, 2011. Since its inception, BGB has been able to export its output to leading supermarkets in countries in different regions such as New Zealand, Thailand, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, and United States and supplies to major supermarkets and restaurant chains in the Philippines.
On August 10, 2011, ASFII acquired 100% of the issued share capital of Spence & Co. Ltd. in Brockton, Massachusetts in the United States for a cash consideration of $ 9.2 million. Spence, which became a wholly owned subsidiary of ASFII, specializes in the production of smoked salmon and other seafood. It is one of the leading salmon processors in the USA with extensive network of clients in the country. Their products set the industry benchmark and are available in major supermarkets. The investment has given ASFII a beachhead to process and distribute additional smoked salmon products in USA, the world’s largest market for smoked salmon. The investment in salmon processing allows ASFII to diversify its product line to take advantage of the changing food consumption patterns around the globe, address the issue of sourcing raw materials, and improve overall margins and profitability.
In May 2012, PT IAFI set up PT Van de Zee to ensure consistent supply of tuna, its primary raw material. It is a fishing company in Indonesia, in which it owns an 80% stake. The fishing company has been granted a license by the Indonesian government to catch up to 30,000 MT by 2016. PT Van de Zee will operate in integration with the tuna processing activities of PT IAFI thus making it the first foreign investment company to be granted a capture fishing license and allocation in the rich fishing grounds of Indonesia.
As part of its expansion strategy into backward integration, in October 2012, ASFII acquired an 80% stake, approximately US$2.2 million, in Akaroa Salmon New Zealand Ltd. Akaroa is among the pioneers of farmed salmon industry in New Zealand. The company was set up in 1985 and over the years, they established the Akaroa Salmon brand as a premium quality brand in the country. Akaroa has been a recipient of various awards and accolades from New Zealand’s food industry, the latest being the Cuisine Artisan Awards 2011 where their Hot Smoked Salmon was declared the winner. They operate two marine farms in the pristine cold waters of Akaroa Harbor in the country’s South Island to rear King Salmon or Chinook. Their processing facilities are located in the Riccarton district of Christchurch, a little more than an hour away from their salmon farms. They also hold a 20% stake in Salmon Smolt NZ Ltd., a modern hatchery guaranteeing high quality and consistent supply of smolts (juvenile salmon) for Akaroa’s farms. The company is a thriving niche producer at the highest-end of the quality salmon market, supplying New Zealand’s leading chefs and the discerning diner with premium fresh and smoked salmon products.
To further integrate its business operations, ASFII entered into a fishing joint venture with a fisherman based in General Santos City, to fish in local and international waters to supply fish to its cannery based in the Philippines. This joint venture is called Wild Catch Fisheries, Inc.