At the 5th anniversary celebrations of Etosha Fishing’s Efuta Maasbanker brand hosted in Oshakati earlier this month, Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Bernard Esau praised the company for establishing a proudly Namibian product and urged consumers to support local brands.

“Efuta must become a household brand,” the Minister said. “Why must we support imported products when our own products are just as good or even better? Let’s support local products,” he said.

In 2013 Etosha Fishing became the first fishing company to can locally caught horse mackerel under its own EFUTA Maasbanker brand. Since the product’s introduction to the local retail market in 2014 sales have increased nearly five-fold with a total of nearly 5 million cans sold annually. In recent months the company also added a curry flavour to its existing tomato and chilli flavour offering.

“By establishing EFUTA Maasbanker five years ago, Etosha Fishing responded to the clarion call of the Namibian Government, not only through job creation and value addition to marine resources, but also to ensure food security in the region in particular and in general in the country,” Special Advisor to the Governor of the Oshana Region, Michael Mwinga said at a birthday celebrations. He also called on the public to consume more fish as this is a healthy food choice that has proven to sustain the nutritional needs of many local communities during times of floods and persistent drought years.

Nutritional experts agree on the importance of horse mackerel as a food product that is high in proteins and poly-unsaturated fats, which are an essential part of creating a well-balanced, complete diet and promoting a healthy life style.

Hailing the success of the brand, Etosha Fishing Board Member Helmi Hitula noted that prior to establishing Efuta Maasbanker, many industry players believed that canning horse mackerel would not be a viable business proposition. “Today we can celebrate quite the opposite. Not only has Etosha Fishing canned horse mackerel successfully, but we have established a proudly Namibian brand and an affordable product of exceptional quality,” she said.

EFUTA Maasbanker was the first Namibian canned product to receive the Namibian Standards Institution’s (NSI) Standard Mark of Conformity product endorsement. It is also Halaal certified and carries the Team Namibia product mark.

The product’s proud Namibian stance is evident from its branding. The word “EFUTA” originates from the Oshiwambo language meaning “from the sea”, while the prominent bright pink label design is derived from the traditional Ondelela colours.

Earlier this year Etosha Fishing also started canning imported pilchards under its EFUTA brand. To remain true to the brand identity, EFUTA Pilchards has the same Ondelela striped label, but just in blue representing the colour of the ocean.

Established in the 1940s, Etosha Fishing Corporation is a leading player in the Namibian fishing industry and considered to be a leading cannery with world-class facilities based in Walvis Bay. For many years it has been canning pilchards for well-known southern African brands.

The company subscribes to the vision "excellence in food processing" and operates under HACCP compliance and EU accreditation. All its canned products comply with National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) and Namibian Standards Institution (NSI) regulations and standards.

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