We are proud to announce the reintegration of C.I. Piscícola Botero S.A. to our growing cooperative of tilapia farms. Botero was established in 1993 in the municipality of Huila, 35 Km from Neiva, Colombia.
The farm cultivates tilapia at 1,827 feet above sea level, in the Betania Reservoir. They raise tilapia in a cage system situated at the confluence of the Magdalena River and the Yaguará River.
Piscícola Botero is considered the pioneer of aquaculture systems in the area. They lead to an increase in aquaculture producers in the Betania Reservoir. For over 15 years, important aquaculture projects have developed in the Betania area. Altogether, the area produces more than 50% of the tilapia production nationwide.
Piscícola Botero's production is completely integrated with optimal farming practices throughout the entire process, from hatchery to processing.
During harvesting, all fish are transported live from net pens to the processing plant, in trucks with a capacity to transport 3 tons. Once at Botero's modern processing plant, the fish is chilled immediately, prior to entering the processing line. More than 60 highly trained employees process the fillets for the international market.
The Quality Control team is in charge of visually checking for color, odor and texture of the fillet, so that you receive only the highest quality product.
The cold chain is maintained from the moment the fish leaves the municipality of Hobo, to the moment it arrives to the city of Bogota, where it is then flown to the United States.
Because our fish are grown in a variety of locations, we are better able to avoid unexpected obstacles or delays due to weather or transportation issues. Expanding our tilapia network allows us the flexibility to substitute any day's harvest. Despite our complex structure, our tracking systems enable us to track every fish all the way back to the source.
As we approach the year-end and the end of our 18th year in operation; we'd like to take a moment and thanks you for your support throughout the year and wish you and your family a joyful and warm Holiday Season.
Your support and feedback helped us reach a number of milestones in 2013, which in the end, allowed us to meet your expectations and grow with you.
Throughout the year, our passionate farmers and fishermen around the world, work and monitor each farm with the goal to bring you a pure, sustainable, chem-free product. This year, we expanded our BAP certified Tilapia operations in Colombia. In February, our partner tilapia farm, Piscicola New York received BAP (Best Aquaculture Practices) certification at the plant level; followed by Piscicola El Rosario, who received BAP certification at the farm level in August.
Following a successful seafood show in March, we expanded our product offerings and were honored to introduce Cold Water Fisheries Steelhead Trout and Norwegian Organic Salmon to our product line.
After months of hard work, the Monterrey Bay Aquarium recognized our sustainable operations and published an updated Seafood Watch - Seafood Guide in which our Tilapia farmed in Ecuador was the first one in Central and South America listed as "Best Choice" of seafood to purchase.
All our expansions and achievements in the past 18 years, wouldn't be possible without the continued support from loyal customers like you and instrumental team players such as; logistics (domestic and foreign), truckers, warehouses, customs brokers, sales, marketing, accounting, NGOs, producers and processors. Thank you all for your undivided support, we look forward to working with each of you in 2014.