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Cooke (Canada) acquires shrimp specialist from Flanders

Canadian seafood group Cooke is acquiring Morubel, the European market leader for frozen shrimp headquartered in Ostend, Flanders. The company employs some 100 people. In Cooke, it has found “an ideal partner for further growth” according to Morubel CEO Dirk De Pandelaere.

Room for growth

In Ostend, Morubel operates a factory of no less than 14,000 square meters with an annual production capacity of 18,000 tons. At the site, the company processes, packs and distributes all types of fresh and frozen seafood. Its customers are retail and food companies from the Benelux, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Italy and France. 

Morubel’s main specialization is shrimp of all sorts and sizes: from large, small, grey and red to organic, tropical and Argentine shrimp. But the company also processes crab, mussels, crayfish, tiger prawns and scallops. And while its site is brimming with activity, there is still room for growth for the Ostend-based company.

Expanding footprint

The main reason why Cooke decided to acquire Morubel is to market its products – seafood of all kinds – in Europe and to further expand its presence on the continent. Through Cooke Aquaculture and Northwest Nutrition, Cooke already has a presence in Scotland. The Canadian group also has branches in Spain and the Netherlands along with salmon farms in Canada, the US, Chile and Scotland, and sea bass and sea bream farms in Spain. In North and South America, Cooke is also active in seafood and wild fish. In Latin America, it owns one of the largest shrimp farms. 

European market leader

Founded in 1954, Morubel first specialized in salting and drying fish for export to Africa. In the 1970s, the company changed its strategy and replaced its salting and drying facilities with modern refrigeration and freezing equipment. Since the 1980s, it has been focusing mainly on shrimp.

Today, Morubel is the European market leader for frozen shrimp and posted a turnover of EUR 82.2 million in 2021. In Southern Europe, it primarily sells wild-caught shrimp. In its largest markets – the Benelux and Germany – farmed shrimp are the main focus. Morubel supplies supermarkets under private label, but also sells under the Morubel and Vannamei brand names to retailers and wholesalers for restaurants.

More info

Reported by
newspaper De Tijd
7 September 2022

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