aid & development

A fresh look at aid to Africa

Thursday, 08 Aug 2013

Imagine Ireland is a brand new Cork-based project that plans to build up an Irish seafood supply to help African communities.

Based in the fishing village of Union Hall, Juan Blanes of Glenmar Shellfish plans to set up this unique venture to help to feed those who need it most, if he can secure funds from Arthur Guinness Projects.

This bit of lateral thinking will mean that people from specially chosen communities in South Africa, sourced through the contacts of Glenmar MD Mel Bendon will be able to potentially enjoy hake, humble boarfish, tuna or other types of fish, sourced from Irish waters, starting immediately.

"Hospitality, solidarity and Guinness are what the Irish have been known for around the world", says Juan, who is Sales Manager / Business Developer with Glenmar. "Now, Ireland is also known as a leader in quality and sustainable food products, including our highly appreciated seafood".

Glenmar Shellfish has been serving the export fishing industry for over thirty years. The company has been working towards proving sustainable seafood products in the most environmentally friendly way across the globe.

Investment from Arthur Guinness Projects, if secured, would be used specifically to cover the costs of the raw materials, freight and logistical resources to set up the project and achieve the main goal of supplying the seafood to the people in Africa. The company currently has offices in South Africa and extensive domestic South African distribution networks that they can avail of to move quickly.

In addition to their commitment to being a green organisation,

Glenmar Shellfish staff members have already been involved in altruistic projects, including a 15,000km road trip from Cape Town for charity.

Argentinian Juan explains: "Food has always represented an important part of my life and education. My interest in humanitarian work started while I was playing rugby in South Africa. We stayed on longer than planned to help teach sport to African communities and it was there that I became inspired to do as much as I could"

"I have tried to bring that spirit of team philosophy and sustainability to Glenmar and I would really like to continue with the Imagine Ireland project’, he said. "An initiative like the Arthur Guinness Projects makes it possible for us to potentially realise this dream and give something back"

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