Friend of the Sea Confirms Freitasmar Tuna

Portuguese seafood canner, Freitasmar, has received Friend of the Sea (FOS) certification for Skipjack and Yellowfin Tuna on January 1, 2017.  Freitasmar, which specializes in the production of canned seafood, can now display the official seal on its products.

FOS-certified supplier, Frabelle, a fishing company from the Philippines, fishes all tuna species for Freitasmar. Frabelle uses the Purse Seine fishing method in the Western Central part of the Pacific Ocean.  Purse Seine fishing is a consistent and efficient method, enabling fishers to catch and freeze large quantities of tuna.  Purse Seine vessels fish either by spotting free-swimming schools of tuna or by utilizing floating objects that attract fish, either with natural or manmade objects such as fish aggregating devices.

“The presence of a specific traceability system assures that certified products respect the certification requirements, excluding the possibility of a mix with non-certified products.  Offering high-quality sustainable products has been our main priority for years,” said José Maria Freitas, CEO of Freitasmar.  He went on to say, “Achieving the Friend of the Sea international certification is a big step forward for our company.”

The Freitasmar Group includes three entities:  (1) Freitasmar, (2) Vasco da Gama, both headquartered in the coast of Vila Nova de Gaia, and (3) Cofisa, headquartered in the coast of Figueira da Foz in Portugal.  As a group, they provide credible solutions in the canned seafood sector.  As a critical success factor, they point out their constant evolution of fishing techniques, the options for the best raw materials, and modern production and conservation techniques.  In addition to the local market of Portugal, the Freitasmar Group export market includes Spain, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, Switzerland, Latvia, Croatia, Poland, Cyprus, Israel, USA, Canada, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Algeria, Angola, Mozambique, Palestine, Libya, Macau, and Australia.

Company History and Products.  The Freitasmar Group was established in the first half of 1994 with Freitasmar – Produtos Alimentares, S.A.  It began by commercializing raw materials for the canned fish industry for a short period of time.  At present, it is dedicated to the production of gourmet products, most of which are sold in the international market. The Vasco da Gama brand represents the “Portugality” of its products, to show its deep relationship with the sea.  It cans and bottles tuna; it cans sardines, small sardines, mackerel (also known as little tuna), horse mackerel, squid, octopus, and mussels; and it boxes three types of tuna salad (California, Mediterranean, Mexican).  In 2013, Freitasmar inaugurated a new factory located in the Port of Olhão, Algarve in Portugal.  It is the headquarters of Cofisa.  The Conservas de Peixe da Figueira, SA (Cofisa) was acquired by the Freitasmar Group in 2004. Cofisa is in the canning industry, producing a great variety of canned fish, mainly tuna, sardines, mackerel, small sardines, squid, octopus and cockles.

Portuguese seafood canner, Freitasmar, has received Friend of the Sea (FOS) certification for Skipjack and Yellowfin Tuna on January 1, 2017.  Freitasmar, which specializes in the production of canned seafood, can now display the official seal on its products.

FOS-certified supplier, Frabelle, a fishing company from the Philippines, fishes all tuna species for Freitasmar. Frabelle uses the Purse Seine fishing method in the Western Central part of the Pacific Ocean.  Purse Seine fishing is a consistent and efficient method, enabling fishers to catch and freeze large quantities of tuna.  Purse Seine vessels fish either by spotting free-swimming schools of tuna or by utilizing floating objects that attract fish, either with natural or manmade objects such as fish aggregating devices.

“The presence of a specific traceability system assures that certified products respect the certification requirements, excluding the possibility of a mix with non-certified products.  Offering high-quality sustainable products has been our main priority for years,” said José Maria Freitas, CEO of Freitasmar.  He went on to say, “Achieving the Friend of the Sea international certification is a big step forward for our company.”

The Freitasmar Group includes three entities:  (1) Freitasmar, (2) Vasco da Gama, both headquartered in the coast of Vila Nova de Gaia, and (3) Cofisa, headquartered in the coast of Figueira da Foz in Portugal.  As a group, they provide credible solutions in the canned seafood sector.  As a critical success factor, they point out their constant evolution of fishing techniques, the options for the best raw materials, and modern production and conservation techniques.  In addition to the local market of Portugal, the Freitasmar Group export market includes Spain, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, Switzerland, Latvia, Croatia, Poland, Cyprus, Israel, USA, Canada, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Algeria, Angola, Mozambique, Palestine, Libya, Macau, and Australia.

Company History and Products.  The Freitasmar Group was established in the first half of 1994 with Freitasmar – Produtos Alimentares, S.A.  It began by commercializing raw materials for the canned fish industry for a short period of time.  At present, it is dedicated to the production of gourmet products, most of which are sold in the international market. The Vasco da Gama brand represents the “Portugality” of its products, to show its deep relationship with the sea.  It cans and bottles tuna; it cans sardines, small sardines, mackerel (also known as little tuna), horse mackerel, squid, octopus, and mussels; and it boxes three types of tuna salad (California, Mediterranean, Mexican).  In 2013, Freitasmar inaugurated a new factory located in the Port of Olhão, Algarve in Portugal.  It is the headquarters of Cofisa.  The Conservas de Peixe da Figueira, SA (Cofisa) was acquired by the Freitasmar Group in 2004.   Cofisa is in the canning industry, producing a great variety of canned fish, mainly tuna, sardines, mackerel, small sardines, squid, octopus and cockles.

Friend of the Sea is an international certification program for products from sustainable fisheries and aquaculture. Over 500 companies in more than 50 countries have relied on Friend of the Sea to assess the sustainable origin of their seafood.  Accredited independent certification bodies run audits, based on the best and the most updated available scientific data. Recently the program has expanded to the certification of sustainable shipping, ornamental fish and whale watching operator.