While demand for many mainstream brands of shelf-stable tuna have returned to levels seen prior to Covid-19, sales of lesser-known product lines with lower carbon footprints appear to be on the rise.

This is particularly true in the US and EU where retailers are scrambling to secure reliable sources of canned and pouched tuna that meet the increasingly stringent demands of eco-conscious consumers.

The trend bodes well for the likes of Ensis Fisheries, which recently introduced what it describes as “instant shipping” for its premium line of skipjack tuna, which is sourced from an MSC-certified pole-and-line fishery in the Maldives.

“With the Covid-19 pandemic having a profound effect on our global society, including the seafood and fisheries industries, the demand for canned products is on the rise and the need for reliable, traceable and transparent sourcing has never been more apparent than now,” said general manager Hussain Afeef.

Afeef notes that a new state-of-the-art cannery with a daily processing capacity of up to 30 metric tons and 1,500 metric tons of cold storage helped Ensis keep pace with demand during the height of the pandemic.

The facility, which received USD 25M in funding from the German Development Bank (DEG), opened in December. Its proximity to the Hulhumale seaport and Velana International Airport provides what the company describes as a “unique logistical advantage” while further reducing its carbon footprint.

“Currently, a large percentage of domestic pole-and-line tuna is packed in factories outside the Maldives,” Afeef continued. “With the new cannery, we are able to pack right here at home, thus reducing the chances of mixing MSC pole-and-line and MSC FAD Free tuna, which is a much better value addition to our customers than we were able to offer before.”

Ensis invested USD 25M in its cannery after lining up funding from DEG, a subsidiary of German Development Bank KfW. Photo: Ensis

About Ensis Fisheries

Ensis is the largest seafood and tuna exporter in the Maldives. It controls over 50% of the EU market. Retail customers include a number of large international supermarket chains and restaurants.

While the company and its cannery are based in Hulhumale it also maintains a network of sales offices in Frankfurt and Colombo. You can get in touch with Ensis via email or connect with Hussain Afeef on LinkedIn.