Many of the companies operating today in the canned fish sector of the Basque Country, and of Bizkaia in particular, can undoubtedly boast a proven historical tradition. And if we take a brief look at how these companies with the greatest historical tradition have evolved over the years, then we must certainly begin in Bermeo, which was once home to the largest cluster of facilities of this type.
Perhaps the oldest of these facilities was the company founded in 1850 by José Serrats, a Catalan entrepreneur and pioneer in the use of the "Appert" system to prepare preserves, who set up his premises near the port of Bermeo.
The company initially specialised in salted and semi-preserved anchovies, but gradually diversified its products to include many other types of fish, all from the Bay of Biscay. This led to new premises in Elantxobe, Pasajes, Asturias and Galicia, and the creation of its own supply fleet. Later on, the company abandoned this activity to concentrate exclusively on industrialisation.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, over half of the items produced have been exported under the trade names of "Serrats" and "La Pescadora", initially to France and South America, but nowadays to most of Europe and North America.
At first, wooden barrels were the main containers used for salted and pickled fish, but, at the beginning of the 20th century, a greater knowledge of the Appert sterilising process led to the introduction of airtight containers made of tin. Initially, the cans were very large, due to the difficulty of creating an airtight seal. Smaller cans for domestic use were introduced in the 1920s, while glass jars were launched for this type of preserve in the 1980s.
The production process has changed very little over the course of all these years, as we have perfected our technique for achieving greater quality while respecting tradition.
We continue to make our preserves according to a stringent, meticulous method very like the one used in the past. These artisan techniques prevent the deterioration of the fish and guarantee the full flavour and texture of our preserves.
Thanks to the use of the finest raw materials, combined with the know-how of more than five generations and a strict quality control system, our preserves are genuinely outstanding.