“Conservas de Portugal” promoted in Colombo’s Continente store

The Secretariat of State for Fisheries, ANICP - National Association of Canned Fish Industry - and Sonae MC carried out the first initiative to publicize the "Conservas de Portugal - Vamos Conservar o que é Nosso" (“Portuguese Canned Fish – Let’s Preserve what’s Ours”) program at the Canned Fish market on Colombo shopping center’s Continente store, with a view to promoting the consumption of national canned fish in favour of the economy and fish sustainability.

evento conservas de portugal continente colombo

Portuguese canned fish, made in Portugal, taking into account the current appreciation of canned food and the strong activity of the sector, annually export around 70% of production, corresponding to 43 thousand tonnes, worth 226 million euros. Among the most exported species are tuna, followed by mackerel and sardines. Currently the main export destinations are the markets of France, Italy, United Kingdom, Spain, United States, Canada, South Africa and Switzerland.

The chain currently produces 62 thousand tonnes, 30% of which for the national market, and is responsible for 3500 direct jobs, 90% of which are occupied by women.

Portugal currently imports 57 thousand tonnes of canned fish worth 206 million euros. If each Portuguese, in their purchases, replaced 10 imported cans with 10 national cans of canned fish per year, the Portuguese economy would have an increase of 60 million euros.

For Tiago Simões, Marketing Director at Sonae MC, “Continente has always privileged and protected national producers. All Continente labelled canned fish, from tuna, sardines to our range of specialties, are produced in Portugal. We are proud to be able to highlight the quality of these products, and what they represent and which is so directly rooted in our fishing traditions and above all in proving we’re Portuguese. In selecting its suppliers, Sonae MC carries out an extremely rigorous evaluation work, and the item’s national production is obviously a privileged feature. In addition to the extensive quality tests (analytical and sensory) that we carry out for the Continente label, which give us the guarantee of presenting a range of canned fish produced in Portugal of excellent quality, it is also an absolutely essential criterion for Sonae MC that the raw material is acquired through sustainable practices, respecting the species and their ecosystems. It is undeniable that 2020 has been a surprising year and, during the months where we were on a state of emergency, the volume of canned fish sales has grown considerably. Portuguese families consumed 43% more of these products than in the same period last year. We expect the trend of increased consumption to continue until the end of the year.”
In the face of the Coronavirus pandemic, the sale of canned food in Large Distribution increased, in March, between 130% and 140%, having slowed down in the following two months, with the resumption of sales volumes in June.

Through the "Conservas de Portugal - Vamos Conservar o que é Nosso" initiative, ANICP intends to increase the publicity and notoriety of Portuguese canned fish, creating conditions for consumers to make an informed choice, encouraging the preference of the Portuguese for the consumption of national origin fish products.

For José Maria Freitas, President of ANICP, “the realization of a comprehensive and collective campaign brings benefits to the entire industry, allowing the joint presence of the brands in strategic actions and initiatives and promoting a better profitability of the financial resources, but also, that the canning companies benefit, individually, from exposure and media coverage resulting from actions designed to promote and increase the notoriety of the Portuguese canning sector”.

The campaign, with the signature "Vamos conservar o que é nosso" ("Let's preserve what’s ours"), aims to raise public awareness for sustainable fisheries and aquaculture products, presenting canned fish as a distinctive example of tradition and excellence in the industry and the superiority of fish. "Vamos conservar o que é nosso" ("Let's preserve what’s ours") seeks, through its various initiatives, to highlight the differentiating characteristics of Portuguese canned fish as a competitive asset and as a factor in affirming Portugal's identity and excellence.

Portuguese canned fish are a factor in affirming Portugal's identity and excellence with strong international recognition, but also synonymous with the quality and superiority of our fish. They are generations with ancestral wisdom, referring to a tradition that must be kept, but where there has been, in recent years, a strong investment in innovation.

Currently, there are several canned fish offers on the market. From the most traditional ones such as canned tuna or sardines to others such as canned sea bream, octopus and differentiated and sophisticated recipes, present in large stores or in specialty stores, not only in national territory but also in several countries around the world.

This offer also comes up to face the challenge of following consumer trends. Currently there is a tendency for the consumption of healthier products, something that the canning industry has adapted to quickly by increasing the offer of products preserved in water, with low salt content, and which has been growing exponentially in sales.

One of the answers to the challenges created by the current situation is the dynamization of the domestic market and the appreciation of the national offer. Through the "Vamos conservar o que é nosso" ("Let's preserve what’s ours") campaign and the attribution of the "Conservas de Portugal" (“Portuguese Canned Fish”) seal to national canned fish, we aim to value and differentiate Portuguese canned fish from international ones, promoting their special benefits and attributes to their consumers.

In the face of the Coronavirus pandemic, the sale of canned food in Large Distribution increased, in March, between 130% and 140%, having slowed down in the following two months, with the resumption of sales volumes in June.

• Direct jobs - 3,500 of which about 90% are occupied by women.
• 29 ANICP Associates with 15 Canning Factories.
• Canned exports 70% | 43 thousand tonnes | € 226 million.
• Production for the national market | 30% | 19 thousand tonnes | € 97 million.
• Total national production | 62 thousand tonnes | € 323 million.
• National consumption (production for the national market + imports) | 76 thousand tonnes | € 304 million.
• Most exported species: 1st tuna, 2nd mackerel and 3rd sardine.

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