Balfegó Tuna: from the Mediterranean directly to the US
Balfegó has achieved the role of a leading company in the commercialization of Mediterranean bluefin tuna. We’re currently focused on exports, specifically to the US and Japan.
A large part of our success is due to the fact that we are the only company that can offer a fresh, high-quality product like Balfegó bluefin tuna anywhere around the world while ensuring the success of the entire supply chain.
Balfegó in Barcelona, the only company that sells bluefin tuna year round
In the fishing world, we’ve been able to achieve our vision and evolve into what we consider the new, 3.0 version of fishing.
For more than 5 generations, we’ve been dedicated to bluefin tuna and our hard work has allowed us to sell fresh bluefin tuna 365 days a year with both a consistent quality and at market price. We’re in charge of the entire process: from capturing and keeping the tuna alive to feeding them, sacrificing them, and selling them until they reach the final customer.
Balfegó Keys to Success for the International Sale of Sustainable Bluefin Tuna
1. Pioneering Fishing Model
We fish between May and June, which is when the tuna come to the Mediterranean to reproduce. We get close with our fleet and fish using the fencing technique, which allows us to capture the ideal Thunnus thynnus fish to transfer them, alive, to our 2.5 nautical mile-long facilities on the east of L’Ametlla de Mar (Tarragona, Spain). It is an area divided into 10 plots fenced by nets in an area where the waters receive the nutrients that the Ebro river sends to the sea through the Delta and where we feed the tuna exclusively with blue fish, like the mackerel or sardine.
2. Individual Identification
Consumers are increasingly demanding information about the origin of their food and products that they consume. At Balfegó, we support this right and that’s why we’ve bet on developing our own tracking system that transparently shows our entire sales process from capture until the tuna is served on a plate.
Both clients and the final consumer can access this information through a QR code that is provided with each portion and therefore access all the information about the bluefin tuna that they are buying or eating: they can learn the date and zone of capture, the weight, length or fat level, in addition to health, quality, and environmental sustainability certificates.
This pioneering tracking system in the fishing sector serves as a guarantee for restaurants, distributors, and consumers in general, given that it allows them to be fully informed about the portion’s tracking information thanks to our desire to be transparent, responsible, and sustainable.
3. Demand-based orders
We’re capable of sending our fresh, bluefin tuna across the ocean in 48 hours. For example, if we are fishing on a Tuesday in Cataluña (Spain), our tuna can arrive, completely fresh, at LAX by Thursday.
We always fish based on demand and we employ the individual extraction method and the Japanese sacrifice technique of ikejime, which guarantees a stress-free product, obtaining a high quality and excellent gastronomical value for the quality of its meat.
Once the boats arrive with the captured tuna, they go to the ship where they are prepared to be sent to their destination, either whole or cut up. They are washed and once they are ready, they are distributed for shipment. Some of them travel whole by plane to their destination and can be on the table in just 48 hours.
4. Unmatched in the Market for Measuring Fat Percentage
Our passion for achieving excellence has led us to be the only company in the world that measures the fat percentage of each piece and extracts the tuna from the sea at the optimal moment of fat percentage, always meeting client demand. This fact ensures that we adapt completely to the market, based on needs.
Balfegó bluefin tuna has between 8% and 12% of fat, an ideal percentage that’s highly valued in the United States, given that the fat determines the taste, quality, and use of each part, just like with ham and pork products.
The optimal level of fat in bluefin tuna begins in the fishing process; that’s why we control their diet until we obtain the fat percentage that our clients desire. This is one of the keys to success of the brand. Frequently, tuna that are fished in the Mediterranean lose a significant amount of their fat, due to the large journey they’ve made from the Atlantic. At Balfegó, they recover that fat and arrive at the optimal percentage; it’s a revolutionary system that has allowed us to make the sale of fresh, bluefin tuna a year round business.
Our Commitment to Quality and Sustainability is Behind our Actions
For all Balfegó members, one of the most important things in business is our commitment to sustainability that goes much further than what regulations enforce. We work towards a sustainable future because it’s the only way to guarantee that future generations have a fishing product like bluefin tuna.
For more than five generations, we’ve been dedicated to bluefin tuna and we’ve spent the entire time researching and protecting this sector to conserve the continuity of both the species itself and its habitat, the ocean.