Etosha Fishing Corporation asserted its position as a
leading producer of quality canned fish products at the 6th Annual National
Quality Awards hosted by the Namibian Standards Institution (NSI) in October. The
company once again received top honours by winning three of the five large enterprise
categories, including Company of the Year
Exporter of the Year
and Product of the Year
. It managed the same
feat in 2015 and 2017.
The NSI Quality Awards programme was introduced in 2012
with the aim of honouring companies that contribute to quality advancement in
all sectors of the Namibian economy by having measurements and quality systems,
procedures and processes in place that are in line with local, regional and
international practices. The programme also recognizes companies who use
quality advancement to support national economic development and growth.
This achievement comes as Etosha Fishing is preparing to
celebrate the 5th
anniversary of the launch of its home-grown EFUTA Maasbanker
canned product in December, which won in the Product of the Year
Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources recently
visited the Etosha Fishing Corporation canning facility with the launch of its
new EFUTA Maasbanker curry flavour product. Factory workers were keen to show
off their skills in preparing product for canning at this world-class facility.
The mainstay of the company’s business remains the canning of pilchards for world-leading brands such as Lucky Star and Glenryck-SA. Etosha Fishing is one of the few manufacturers that imports raw product to be processed on local soil before being exported again, earning valuable foreign currency for Namibia. Against the backdrop of a dwindling local pelagic resource in recent years and the subsequent moratorium placed on pilchard catches, Etosha Fishing has imported in excess of 50,000 metric tons of frozen pilchards for processing on local soil since 2010 in order to sustain business.
“Etosha Fishing operates in a business environment where
its largest customer is the market leader for canned fish in Southern Africa.
The Lucky Star canned pilchard product sells at a premium price in the market
due to its image of product quality. Lucky Star has clearly identified needs
not only through adherence to regulatory requirements, but in product
specifications that exceed the minimum requirements of the regulator,” says
Etosha Fishing Managing Director Pieter Greeff. He adds that Etosha’s cannery is
a world leader in processing and automation. No other cannery in Southern
Africa has the advanced automated equipment used for processing fish and
According to Quality Assurance Manager Linekela
Kapundja, Etosha Fishing has established a quality management system based on
the principle of ISO9001, a standard which organizations the world over use to
demonstrate the ability to consistently provide products and services that meet
customer and regulatory requirements. The company also uses HACCP as a measure
to control food safety risks, which is certified by the NSI through an
inspection and audit program. All products are also inspected by the NSI and
the South African National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications for
compliance with canned food manufacturing regulations.
“All these efforts has placed Etosha Fishing products among the best quality canned products, not just in Namibia, but in Africa and worldwide. Our products can be consumed by all people of any culture or religion and through these certifications our products act as ambassadors to the Namibian Manufacturing and Food Industry outside of Namibia,” says Kapundja. She adds that the company’s internal quality management systems provide assurance that the customer can consistently expect a product of high quality.
In 2013 Etosha Fishing pioneered local value addition of
horse mackerel, becoming the first company to successfully can Namibia’s
national fish under its own EFUTA Maasbanker brand. It was the first Namibian
canned product to receive the NSI’s Standard Mark of Conformity product
endorsement. The EFUTA products are also Halaal certified and carry the Team
Namibia product mark. Initially launched
in three flavours, namely tomato sauce, chilli and salt water, the company this
year added a curry flavour and a minced horse mackerel canned product. It also
introduced its own canned EFUTA Pilchard product.
Canned fish is a key source of protein on the
subcontinent. Canned pilchards form the single largest component of this
market. Etosha Fishing’s products contains no preservatives, is high in Omega 3
fatty acids, protein and selenium.