28 May 2009

Bumble Bee says no to American Samoa cannery

6:40 pm on 28 May 2009

The American tuna canning company, Bumble Bee, has no interest in taking over an American Samoa cannery from Samoa Packing.

Samoa Packing, one of the biggest employers in the territory, is to leave in four months, closing down the cannery.

The American Samoa Congressman, Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin, says he has held discussions with the CEO and Chairman of Bumble Bee, Chris Lischeski, and been told the company has ample processing facilities on the US mainland using fish loins purchased from PNG, Fiji and other sources.

Mr Lischeski says Bumble Bee will not be setting up in American Samoa, while Faleomavaega says people need to grasp these are strictly business decisions.

"And that is the reality of what our people have to come to grips with. As I said years ago, the presence of these two canneries is not because they love our Samoan people, they are here to make money and if the bottom line doesn't show well as far as their sales and all that, [then] they have to go to other places where they think they can make an increase in their profits - that is the bottom line."

Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin