Juan Basagoiti Aguirre, Sales Manager at Echebastar.
How would you summarize Echebastar’s business trajectory?
The story of Echebastar as a marketer of its own catch starts in 2006, when the company decided to leave a larger trading corporation. That same year, following the vessel Alakrana’s incorporation to our fleet, we started producing super frozen tuna at a temperature of minus 60 degrees Celsius, destined for direct human consumption both raw or cooked. Thus, 2006 marked a pivotal turning point.
Incorporating the ultrafrozen process on board of our vessels and producing high quality tuna for an industry different than canning, makes us to be involved in the production of fish not destined for the canning industry. Having control of the production also involves the development of products for the retail sector, both as a private label and as our brand ECHEBASTAR’S ALAKRANA.
Since 2006 we have increased the production of deep-frozen fish in stark contrast with the fish destined for the canning industry, which we have not neglected. In fact, this type of production accounts for 90% of our current business.
What is the current situation of the tuna industry and what is Echebastar’s role in it?
Against the backdrop of great uncertainty and rapid-changing scenarios, the tuna industry is going through a complex moment. Over the last few years, the costs associated to our activity have experienced considerable inflation and this has not been thrown back to the price of the whole round tuna at the same level.
On top of this, our society is facing a great challenge with the demographic growth, where we must feed an increasing global population. This growth is not evenly spread in the world areas and puts even more responsibility and pressure on food industry as a whole.
We must attain this development in a sustainable manner and with a high social return. Any other approach would represent a failure for our society and it would simply yield no development whatsoever.
At Echebastar we would like to play an inspiring role both in our industry and our social environment. We would like to be a reference in the sector because of the consistency between our values and our practices.
What is Echebastar’s commercial proposal? Who are its customers?
Echebastar’s commercial offer is a “people-centric” proposal because we understand that individual customer actions can influence the decisions of our direct buyers such as large canning companies, retail, restaurants or the customers that make their purchases on our online store.
We are living in uncertain times, with massive information which too often becomes misinformation and manipulation; with an environment that is changing at an unprecedented speed. In the face of this challenge, our proposal consists in staying close to the market and the customer. It’s a proposal in which digitization and innovation should gain increasing importance to help us attain true excellence.
We suggest that our customers make decisions as much reasoned as possible being conscious of the speed that a purchasing action by itself has. We want them to be able to assess the impact of their choices and we try to help by offering as much information and transparency as possible. We should not forget the importance of other levers such as health and enjoyment. Our proposal aims at encapsulating all of this as well as other attributes such as high added value or responsibility with authenticity and truth. And since authenticity and truth are inseparable from happiness ultimately our proposal aims at generating joy and happiness among our customers.
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