18 February 2018
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Next time you eat bacalao* in Spain or Italy...

* The word bacalao is Spanish, and simply means cod. Actually, in many Latin countries like Brazil, Italy, Greece and of course Spain, the term bacalao is used for stockfish or salted cod. In Portugal, bacalao is said to be prepared in at least 365 different ways – one for each day of the year.

Reidar Inselseth is General Director of the Espersen fish factory in the Klaipeda Free Economic Zone, where cod from the Baltic Sea and Arctic Ocean is converted to delicious fish fillets for southern European markets.

Every day, all year round, a truck drives out from the Espersen fish processing plant in the Klaipeda Free Economic Zone, fully loaded with over 20 tonnes of finished fish fillets for the south and west European markets. Not many days later, these fish products are to be found at a restaurant table in Spain, Italy and Greece as delicious dishes prepared by chefs who so often are amazing fish experts and know to appreciate the wonderful ingredients the Baltic Sea and Arctic Ocean have to offer. Because it is from these seas Espersen Lietuva gets its fish raw material, roughly 40 tonnes per day. 
About 50% of the fish they purchase from the Baltic countries Lithuania, Latvia, Sweden and Denmark, while the remaining half is purchased from Norway, caught in northern Atlantic waters. Some of the fish is purchased fresh, some frozen. 

Espersen was the first company that was established in Klaipeda Free Economic Zone. The opening took place in January 2003. Now 275 people work here in this fish processing company, and the company has already invested EUR 10 million here in the course of these years. The facility stands as a magnificent specimen of a modern fish processor, one of the very best in the world and has become an almost indispensable and important partner for the fishermen in Lithuania and other Baltic nations. 

Fish products from the plant are eaten at present by people in the UK, Germany, France, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece. 

The mother company of Espersen Lieutva, A. Espersen A/S, was founded in Denmark in 1937 with the purpose of taking advantage of the abundance of cod in the Baltic Sea region. The company was established by J.P.A. Espersen with its first premises on Bornholm, an island in the middle of the Baltic Sea.

Since then, constant growth has transformed it into one of the world´s most important white fish processing corporations with a staff of more than 1.100 employees in modern production plants in Denmark, Poland, Lithuania and China.

Among its milestones, Espersen was the first food processing company in Europe to establish its own laboratories to monitor quality control.
In 1971 the entire equity capital of Espersen was turned over to “Direktør J.P.A. Espersen og hustru, fru Dagny Espersens Fond”. The yield of the Foundation contributes with financial investments to Espersen and is distributed among charity organisations.
Today, with an annual turnover of more than 200 million Euros, Espersen is considered a financially well consolidated company basing its transactions on strong partnerships with both suppliers and customers.

For contingency reasons Espersen has chosen to have production in several at countries - Denmark (Bornholm), Poland, Lithuania, China and Vietnam.

The new Espersen office building in the Klaipeda Free Economic Zone
is shaped as a ship bridge.

Interview with General Director Reidar Inselseth
I sit with the director of the Espersen plant in Klaipeda, Norwegian Reidar Inselseth, in the new office building his firm has just built. The building is designed as the wheelhouse of a ship, with a shiny blue glass surface, and the 'bow, roof top and masts' in stainless steel. 

Reidar has been director of this facility for four years now, and among other things, been responsible for extensive new investments and developments of the company. My first question to him is what he finds hardest by being entrepreneur and company leader in Lithuania. 

"The lack of predictability," he replies immediately. "Unfortunately, that is something that to a far too high degree characterizes this country. For my company this is so serious that we hardly had chosen Lithuania for our production if we eight-nine years ago had known what we now know."

"This country is steeped in corruption, which we feel very directly when we often are subjected to strange inspections etc. from the authorities; something we do not see anything like in any of the other countries where we have fish processing plants. We are, for example, constantly subjected to unreasonable disclosure requirements and controls, even if we always follow highly acclaimed and transparent international principles of production, environmental control, bookkeeping and treatment of employees. It feels as if here in Lithuania companies like ours still have to prove their innocence instead of being greeted with open arms and cooperative attitudes."

"Do you see these things as something that remains from the Soviet times?" 
"Yes, I think so. There is, for example, too little of free and open competition, far too many monopolies, generally too low level of knowledge in public administration, and too big distance from the country's legislature to where things really happen." 

"What do you think the Lithuanian authorities should do with this?"

"First and foremost, they must streamline their anti-corruption efforts and substantially increase transparency in the entire state administration. And those who are appointed to executive positions must be selected on the basis of merit, not because of party affiliation." 

"Are there other, more practical problems you face for your business in today's Lithuania?" 

"The biggest problem in this respect is undoubtedly the increasing shortage of labour here due to the massive emigration that has taken place in recent years. Many of those we have trained in fish processing in our firm have travelled to the west, and now we are seriously struggling to find qualified workers. What we see in the Lithuanian society today is becoming a daunting demographic composition with too many old and very young and too few in working age." 

"This is a problem that the authorities immediately should take more seriously. Society should be organized so that it again becomes safe and interesting to live and work here. We must have safe, good schools, health care and jobs. Today these things combined are just so negative that too many choose to leave their home country." 

"The lack of labour is, by the way, now so precarious that the government should allow for greatly increased immigration from countries farther east." 

Reidar Inselseth is clearly engaged in these issues, probably partly due to the fact that he has a Lithuanian wife, with whom he has two school-age children. The family would like to live in Klaipeda, but hope the negative trends in the country soon will turn so that they can again feel the optimism and satisfaction of living and working here. 

Meanwhile, truck after truck rolls out from this top modern fish processing plant here in Klaipeda. 

Restaurant guests in Rome, Madrid and Athens hardly have a clue that the delicious, tasty dinners they are about to eat origin just from here...


Recipe for Bacalao a la Vizcayna

Bacalao a la Vizcayna is a Spanish dish. It is basically sautéed salted fish that is popularly known as a staple food during the Lentewn season.

half a kilo of dried and salted bacalao (dried salted cod fish)
1 tbsp flour
half a cup olive oil
5 cloves minced garlic
1 medium chopped onion
2 medium chopped tomatoes
half a cup of water
200g tomato sauce and 1 cup canned garbanzos
2 medium red bell peppers, cut into strips
pepper grounded and salt
2 medium cubed potatoes

1. Soak the dried fish in water for at least 1 hour and drain out the excess water. Afterwards, boil the fish, drain and set aside. When cool enough to handle, flake and discard the bones of the fish and then set aside.
2. Sprinkle flour over flaked fish, then fry it in olive oil until light brown in color. Afterwards, set it aside.
3. Sauté garlic, onions, and tomatoes. Add water and simmer the mixture for 2 minutes. Pour in tomato sauce and bring to a boil.
4. Add prepared fish, garbanzos, and pepper. Season with salt and pepper
5. Add fried potatoes and simmer.

A recipe from:

Category : The world in Lithuania

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مبلمان اداری صندلی مدیریتی صندلی اداری میز اداری وبلاگدهی فروشگاه اینترنتی گن لاغری شکم بند لاغری تبلیغات کلیکی آموزش زبان انگلیسی پاراگلایدر ساخت وبلاگ بوی دهان بوی بد دهان