Business & Industry

Aug 1, 2017

MATCH THE MEAT

The world already has an acquaintance as far as Argentinian beef goes. It's one's of the main products exported by the South-American nation and its quality stands out while served on the popular Argentinian and Brazilian barbecue and steak houses that are now spread throughout the globe. 

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Its beef has also been known for its recognizable high quality produced at an attractive price, thanks to the huge green Argentinian pastures. Less known, until not so long ago, was the Argentinian shrimp export but that is about to change.

Currently with over 70 active vessels, in 2016 the shrimp exports have reached an equal revenue when compared to Argentinian beef, both surpassing the value of one billion dollars each!

The rise on the demand for Argentinian shrimp has been a reality on the European market (mostly on Spain and Italy) and in China, the last thanks to a growing middle class with a pungent purchase capacity. In 2016 the overall shrimp exportation rose 31 percent and the Chinese market demand by itself rose 52,9 percent, meaning that since 2012 the Chinese market went up 60,8% on de the demand for this particular Argentinian sea food, according to the data of the International Trade Centre (ITC).

Has part of its commercial strategy, president Mauricio Macri visited China in May, taking along with him a delegation of the Ministry of Agriculture that met its Chinese counterparts, searching to enhance ties and commercial partnerships that could benefit both nations, being also present the secretary of Fishery and Aquiculture, Tomas Gerpe. Besides its respective Chinese counterparts, the Argentinian delegation also had a meeting with the General Administration for Quality, Inspection and Quarantine to be aware of the specifications required for sanitary and importation demands. 

China has been trying to assure a large portion of the Argentinian shrimp quota that then exports as processed food products, several Chinese entrepreneurs are already competing to buy the Grupo Conarpesa, with the reputation of being the main fishing company of Argentina and the main exporter of Argentinian shrimp.

Conarpesa has been in business ever since 1977 and has its own fleet of 24 vessels, specializing on wild shrimp catch and its immediate processing and freezing aboard its boats and plants, assuring the best quality and exceptional freshness of its products.

Besides having its own fleet, Conarpesa also has exclusivity contracts with other privately owned fishing boats assuring that it has stock and availability for any sudden rise on the demand for Argentinian sea food, that it's not limited to shrimp and it assures it's clients that all of its sea food – be it its own catch or the catch of its suppliers – is caught, processed, frozen and packaged for direct distribution to its customers, in a deadline lower than eight hours!

The rise on demand also rose the concern for sustainability on the shrimp catching, to assure that it's availability is not quickly depleted and has a continuity that will assure the supply caused by mass exportations.

Conarpesa owns four sea food processing plants on land and it's the largest exporter of wild shrimp in Argentina, operating mostly out of Patagonia and employing over 1,000 employees, besides the subcontractors and the jobs it creates indirectly through its exclusive suppliers.

Throughout the years the company was able to assure its success through the continuous modernization of ifs sea food processing, its fleet and factories and also innovating on its recruiting of labour and on the creation of business projects. After all, on a country internationally known for its beef exports, who would have thought that one day the shrimp exports would reach its current proportions?

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