• World leading company in the sector makes a stand against the EU decision
• Phosphates have a significant impact on the quality of the product and traditional cure process
• The Torres Vedras company will continue producing phosphate-free codfish
Riberalves, the world leader in the codfish sector, disagrees with the recent European Union decision to approve the use of phosphates on codfish processing. This decision will be effective as of January 1st 2014.
Brussels voted in favor of a proposal that allows for the addition of chemicals when curing codfish. Despite not posing a threat to public health, this procedure is a palpable threat to traditional salting processes made according to highly demanding quality standards. These are processes Portuguese have been used to and constitute a major cultural reference in the country. Portugal is the greatest codfish consumer in the world, averaging 7 kg per capita. This adds up to a grand total of 70 thousand tons of codfish per year.
Riberalves, however, will continue to make a stand for the traditional cure process, namely in the production of deep-frozen desalted codfish, a product that is meeting increasing market demand and that, according to the Kantar World Panel, still leads the market. “We will continue to put our best effort into phosphate-free codfish with the sole purpose of defending the quality and traditional codfish taste that the Portuguese have been used to for centuries”, explains Ricardo Alves, Riberalves’ general manager. “We have always done so, even when we broke new ground and became a world reference within the context of ready-to-cook deep-frozen desalted codfish. We are going to keep treading this path”, says Ricardo Alves, also the production manager at Riberalves.
The market will evolve within this new legal framework, but Riberalves will also keep producing codfish according to traditional standards, thus providing consumers freedom of choice. In this approval also lies a possibility of differentiation. “This is our duty towards the Portuguese people and international clients that have always trusted our brand”, concludes Ricardo Alves.
Riberalves was founded in 1985 and is a world reference in codfish processing. The company produces about 29 thousand tons of cod per year. According to the Kantar World Panel, Riberalves is the leader in the deep-frozen desalted codfish market segment.