By JAMES MUYANWA -
CAPITAL Fisheries has said 2013 was one of its best years in which it scored various successes especially on its expansion programme.
Managing director, Damian Roberts said the firm managed to establish 22 new outlets throughout the country and created various job opportunities for local people in respective areas.
Mr Roberts said in an interview that the firm had spent about $1.1 million on its expansion exercise to set up the 22 outlets in various parts of the country.
Capital Fisheries is a privately owned company whose core business is in the wholesale and distribution of fish and seafood products.
Mr Roberts said the firm managed to acquire one of the biggest cold storage facilities in the country, while business had been booming.
The new outlets are dotted in Lusaka, Mansa, Chirundu, Mpika and Nakonde and they collectively created more than 100 permanent job opportunities.
In 2014, the company will continue with its expansion programme to other areas including Mozambique and Tanzania.
He said local firms like Capital Fisheries were playing a critical role in the enforcement of the annual fish bans by Government by mitigating the effects of the ban among the fish consumers and traders.
Mr Roberts said the company records its peak period in terms of fish sales during the fish ban time between January and March every year, underscoring the importance of such firms to the enforcement of the annual fish bans.
He said the company took the product quality as the first priority and, therefore, heavily invested in the storage and other relevant facilities.
Capital Fisheries was incorporated in 1999 and at inception, it only offered one product buka buka but has since expanded its range and now offers over 100 different products, with over 450-tonne storage capacity while the monthly and annual sales levels have risen to 200 tonnes and 2400 tonnes respectively.
Apart from buka buka Mr Roberts said the major product lines for the products, 50 per cent of which were locally sourced, include tilapia, mackerel, kapenta, seafood, ice cubes and frozen potato chips.
In June 2000, the company obtained a Japanese grant worth US$100,000 which it used to purchase refrigeration equipment to expand the storage capacity.