A new freezer processing plant for the Falkland Islands costing nearly a quarter of a million pounds (more than 320,000 dollars) will boost international exports and coincidentally provide valuable earnings for farmers facing hardship because of depressed wool prices.
The huge specialised plant incorporating the latest technology is a joint Falklands- Spanish initiative by the Golden Touza Company already operating three ocean-going trawlers in Falklands waters. Golden Touza Limited, which commenced operations in the Falkland Islands in 1996, has two partners, a Spanish family firm called Chymar, in Vigo, with long-standing fisheries experience, and Southern Cross, the first ever Falklands fishing company which began operations in 1986.
In an exclusive interview with Mercopress , Southern Cross Managing Director, Mr Terry Betts, in partnership with two other Falklands directors, explained how their operations are expanding, helping Falklands farmers, and demonstrating confidence in the Islands' economic development and prosperity. Mr Betts is typical of the new thrusting brand of entrepreneurs the Islands' recent prosperity has produced, able to hold their own as international businessmen.
The new Falklands processing plant is being built in Spain for Golden Touza's partner company, Galfrio, one of Europe's largest cold-stores and marketing organisations, located in Martin, Spain. It will complement Galfrio's existing cold-store complex. The new plant, built on leased Government land, with ancillary infrastructure will cost half a million pounds (about 800,000 dollars).
From September this year it is planned to process and package oysters, mussels, crabs and mullet produced in what the company calls "the unpolluted Falklands environment" for markets in the United States, Chile,Russia, Lithuania and Estonia. There is high demand for any amount of mullet the Islands can supply. They hope also to develop crab fisheries and salmon farming.
"We are very enthusiastic, optimistic and confident in the future", Mr Betts declared. "We are very well aware of our responsibility to the future and in playing an active part in supporting the Islands' economy. We enjoy access to the loligo squid fishery, the most valuable resource in the Falklands, and we are willing to re-invest some of our money back into the Islands".
Golden Touza owns two seventy-metre stern freezer trawlers equipped with state- of- the- art technology, the Golden Chicha and the Golden Touza, both registe