More South African hake for US tables

12 April 2012

South African company Oceanfresh, which already supplies its wild caught hake to Walmart, will now be supplying a second US retailer, Costco, following a deal struck with parent company Lonrho.

Johannesburg- and London-listed conglomerate Lonrho announced on Wednesday that it was partnering with Costco to supply its “Kirkland Signature” branded hake loins to Costco stores worldwide.

“The first shipments are en route to the United States and the product will soon become available through Costco Wholesale stores in the United States, with planned roll-outs to Canada and Mexico in 2012 and other Costco territories at a later stage,” Lonrho said in a statement.

Lonrho executive chairman David Lenigas said the contract “reflects the increasing customer demand for a high quality, wild caught and sustainably sourced product, and will be fulfilled through the supply chain infrastructure which we already have in place”.

Oceanfresh’s fillets come from white hake fished in the deep, cold waters of the Benguela current off the coast of southern Africa.

The company operates according to sustainable fishing model, in line with the World Wildlife Fund’s Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative, fishing in regions that are well below agreed 35% sustainable fishing volumes.

Costco is one of the world’s largest retailers, with 600 warehouses in eight countries that together yielded US$88.9-billion in revenue in 2011.

Oceanfresh MD Gavin ven der Burgh told Business Day that it had built a new plant in Ekurhuleni, to the east of Johannesburg, that would be quadrupling its capacity in order to meet the anticipated growth in demand.

SAinfo reporter