Mukalla Fish Canning Factory wins Golden Knight Award [Archives:2003/671/Business & Economy]

September 25 2003

By Saleh al-Basha
Yemen Times, al-Mukalla

Al-Guizi brand for fish, a product of al-Mukalla Factory for Fish Canning enjoyed a splendid reputation within and outside the country. Hence, its winning of the Golden Knight Award for quality and excellent standards came as no surprise. The award, which was presented to Engineer Saleh Mohammed Bahwal, the General Manager of the factory by the International Public Opinion Awards, has shown that national factories can indeed compete internationally. The Factory is considered one of the first in the world in packaging fresh Tuna.
This was not the first award the factory received; in fact it had been awarded a number of valuable international awards including the Golden Medal in Lingurag – Germany Exhibition in 1987 and the industrial excellence prize for industry and agriculture in 2001.
Above all, the brand has won consumers' trust in Yemen and abroad as there is high demand for it in the regional and local markets.
Yemen Times has seized this opportunity and met with Mr. Saleh Bahwal general manager of the factory and filed an interview, which provides Yemen Times readers with information about the factory and its success story.

Q: Can you tell us about the factory and its objectives?
A: The Fish Canning Factory was built in Mukalla in 1979, and today is considered of the oldest in the country. It enjoys expertise and professional experience in producing satisfactory products for customers worldwide. The objective of establishing the factory was to benefit from the huge amount of fish captured during seasons in order to provide decent fish products to the local and regional markets for the season and throughout the year.
Also through exporting fish products to the region, the factory aims at increasing the state's income in hard currency.
The factory has social objectives as well such as helping fishermen market their products and establish a balance between supply and demand. The factory has substantial manpower reaching 600 workers.
In 1996, the factory witnessed development in operations of the various units. The packaging workshop has become up to international modern standards. There are two operation lines in this unit for Tuna with oil production and preparations are underway to launch a third line for producing Mackerel Cans with a production power of 40 thousand items per shift.
The empty cans production unit was renovated using a French fund where the old machines were replaced with highly advanced French technology, which is now resulting in a production rate of 20 million can per year.
The factory includes a quality monitoring unit where qualified experts supervise the production process and define the required standards for production. The experts conduct physical and chemical tests right from the receipt of raw materials (fish/ oil/ metal) and ending by sealing the can, sterilizing and preparing for marketing.

Q: What are the social activities supported by the factory and how does the factory participate in environmental protection?
A: The factory carries out many social activities in addition to the fact that it provides a source of living for many of the local people. Among its activities is the support for sports and culture events in the governorate of Hadramout. It participates in funding the blinds' center activities and supports a number of sports clubs and societies and has a hand in the occasional events that take place every now and then.
The factory's management is quite aware of the importance of preserving the environment. Consequently, a section for environmental issues was established. In this section, industrial waste resulting from our factory is eliminated. Garbage is grounded and is transferred into fish-fodder used as chicken food and as fertilizers.

Q: Can you give us some statistics about the current production and the market rate as well as profit and the labor percentage of it?
A: During the last year 2002, there was a net profit of 120 million Yemeni Riyals. Last year, around 16 million cans were produced. Around 14 million of those cans were marketed locally. The remaining 2.4 million cans were exported abroad yielding more than USD 2 million as generated income.
As for this year, we produced around 13 million cans in the first half, of which more than half was marketed locally yielding a revenue of more than one billion YR. During the same period, more than 1.3 million cans were exported.

Q: Recently you have received the Golden Knight's International Award in pioneering and Excellence. What does this prize represent to you and why do you think you deserve it?
A: Our achievement in getting the award brings pride to all Yemeni cadres in the fish industry and especially in our factory. This award represents a drive and incentive to work harder and pay more efforts for maintaining this quality and increasing production.
As to why we deserved it, this award was presented on the basis independent evaluation of the public opinion and the research center that made the study. Our factory is distinguished with packaging of fresh Yellow Fin Tuna, which is considered among the best quality Tuna in the world. Moreover the award was presented to us as a result of our continuous efforts and hard work to raise the quality standard and fulfill the conditions in service and operation. I believe that we won the Golden Knight Award because of high quality and standards of our products.
And we are truly happy for this achievement.