Siam Canadian opens office in Ecuador amid shrimp sector recovery: SeafoodSource News
Toan Dao: SeafoodSource News
Bangkok, Thailand-based global seafood and meat supplier Siam Canadian has opened its newest office in Guayaquil, Ecuador, as part of the company’s strategy to expand its footprint in South America.
Siam Canadian established a presence in South America in 2019, according to Siam Canadian South America General Manager Mathieu Bourdeaux, and already has offices in Argentina, Chile, Peru, and in Central America.
“Ecuador is the natural next step for our South American business,” Bourdeaux told SeafoodSource. “Now having established a permanent presence in Ecuador, we are tied even more closely with Ecuador’s fast-growing farmed vannamei shrimp production and export industry.”
Siam Canadian Director of Group Business Development Richard Williams said doing business in Ecuador, one of the world’s top shrimp exporters, is a crucial step to make the company a truly global seafood supplier.
Siam Canadian Group Managing Director Jim Gulkin also said the expansion to Ecuador is a strategic step following the company’s success in Asia.
“Ecuador has definitely been on our radar for some time and we are very pleased that we are now permanently establishing ourselves there and positioning our business to become a major supplier of Ecuador farmed shrimp, just as we have been very successful at accomplishing from our locations across Asia for the past 35 years,” Gulkin said.
Siam Canadian’s Ecuador office will be run by Andres Fajardo Calero, a 10-year veteran in the Ecuador shrimp industry, who has strong connections with shrimp processors and farmers across Ecuador, according to Siam Canadian. He will report to Mathieu, who is based in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Ecuador’s shrimp sector was heavily affected last year as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted its production and export capacity. As an additional headwind, many of its exporters were temporarily banned from exporting to China after their products were reportedly found to contain traces of the virus on their packaging. However, as production has ramped back up, Ecuadorian packers have successfully moved to diversify their export markets, shifting greater volumes to Europe and the U.S.
“We are still in a very tough competition with the shrimp coming from Asia, but due the recent issues caused by the coronavirus virus in Vietnam, India, and other Asian countries, the Ecuadorian market share [in Europe and the U.S.] keeps increasing,” Calero said.
He added that the Ecuador’s shrimp sector has benefited from the government’s vaccination plans and a gradual recovery is under way.
“So we are pleased to see how many packers have started to invest in their facilities to add more added values like IQF lines, brine, cooked or getting new certifications or simply to have more room to take new orders/customers,” Calero said. “On the producer side, the sowing densities have already recovered to normal levels, farmers now, as a result of the hard learnings from the COVID-19 crisis, are more efficient. They manage their production costs much better [and] have gradually reinvested in improvements to pond infrastructure to increase their production capacity and invest in technology, such as the use of software and automatic feeders.”
Calero said he believes Ecuador will continue to boost shrimp exports to many markets, particularly North America and Europe.
Siam Canadian supplies frozen seafood, fruit, vegetables, canned products, meats, and poultry from its operations in China, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Myanmar, Bangladesh, South America, and Poland to importers, wholesalers, retailers, and distributors in more than 70 countries.