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It is the largest company in terms of size and number of workers hired created in the capital in recent years – The company’s top management forecasts that in four or five years, the Palencia-based company will have a turnover of between 80 and 100 million euros.

“An inspiring start: from a small stall in the market square to being a reference in the seafood sector”. That is the slogan that the Palencia businessman Conrado Merino, current president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Palencia, wanted to give after recently launching Merpacífico, a business firm dedicated body and soul to seafood products, especially octopus, but located in the heart of the Castilian plateau.

The top executive of this organization, in charge of designing and implementing strategies to achieve the objectives, is behind this project together with his daughter Manuela Merino, who holds the position of director.

The project has entailed an investment of 17 million euros and its maximum objective is to reach around 200 employees within five years, as explained to Diario Palentino during a visit to its facilities. The company, one of the largest created in the capital in recent years with dimensions of 10,000 square meters, is located at 6 Tejedores Street, in the industrial park.

It conceives a logistics platform with a large storage capacity for three million kilos at a controlled temperature of -28 degrees Celsius. Although Merpacífico started its activity six months ago, its turnover will reach 20 million euros by the end of the year, although the forecast is that in 4-5 years, the Palencia-based company will have a turnover of between 80 and 100 million euros, according to the calculations made by Conrado and Manuela Merino.

In terms of production, Merpacífico, which has permanent delegations in Andalusia and Valencia, can produce 10 tons of fresh octopus and as many tons of cooked octopus per day, with a product coming especially from Morocco and Mauritania. As for the workforce, the company currently has a staff of 60 workers, although those in charge of the company expect to triple it in five years, reaching 180 to 200 workers.

According to Conrado and Manuela Merino, production is leading both nationally and internationally. In Europe, the company works with markets located in Italy, France and Germany, while outside the European Union, Merpacifico products are sold in Japan, China, Australia, Canada and the United States, among others.

TECHNOLOGY. Merpacífico is a new octopus processing company and is already positioned as a leader in Spain thanks to the advantage of more than 30 years of experience and the professional success of its founder, Conrado Merino, who has turned his work into his passion and has once again made a strong commitment to the food sector. It is a leading company in seafood products with more than 30 years of experience in the sector.

The company has modern and automated facilities and a large cold storage capacity (thirteen meters high) with coverage for more than 3,000 pallets at a controlled temperature of -28°C.

The commitment to the incorporation of the latest technology in the plant allows us to distribute thousands of tons, operating directly from the fishing grounds, in the main fishing grounds, “where we have our own freezers and experts who select the best octopus, ensuring the quality of the product at all times. We use, as raw material, octopus from Morocco, with its most valued variant, the Dakhla octopus, as well as other origins”, according to Manuela Merino, although we can also process mongo-choco, lobster, squid and sole.

Merpacífico is today a modern company, 100% automated, with the most innovative technologies, facilities that exceed 10,000 square meters with a large cold storage capacity. In addition, the factory has three loading and unloading docks. Washing facilities and three conveyor belts are located nearby. The octopus cooker, the chamber and the cutting tables are not missing. In addition, the product is packaged in different formats and passes through the pasteurization room, which serves to extend the product’s shelf life. As a curiosity, the company has a deep-freezing chamber (down to -40 degrees) with a capacity of 40 tons.

It is distinguished from the competition by its great capacity to process octopus and the quality of the raw material since the company is present throughout the value chain from fishing, in the main fishing grounds of the world, where the company has its own staff that selects octopus by octopus until the raw material reaches the customer. It has also built an extensive distribution network that allows it to reach the entire world in record time.

The new company from Palencia boasts the latest in technology and reaffirms its firm commitment to talent by recruiting the right professional profiles for each position and with a well thought-out and professional company structure to grow constantly and reach all markets with solvency.

For Merpacífico’s management, the staff is the company’s most important asset. Therefore, it is committed to a well-structured organization with logistics, quality, R&D, sales, administration, communication, production, human resources, maintenance, etc., with clear tasks and responsibilities for the correct operation.

Quality is integrated in all phases of the production process by applying a traceability system based on the procedures of the main organizations for food standardization and safety.

“Our business strategy, focused on the satisfaction and growth of our customers, allows us to have a wide variety of origins both raw and processed and cooked in multiple formats, sizes and weights always adapted to the needs and always with personalized attention,” says Manuela Merino.

LONG HISTORY. The origins of Conrado Merino’s long professional career date back to 1991 with the founding of Viveros Merimar, a company dedicated to the wholesale trade of fish and seafood. A firm with a constant growth that in 2005 started with the production and commercialization of cooked octopus, under the Meripul brand, becoming one of the main octopus players in Spain. The company’s success led several investment funds to invest in the company.

will be fixed on it. Both Conrado Merino and his team negotiated until they reached an agreement with one of them, closing an important corporate transaction with the Angulas Aguinaga Group.

In 2018 Merino sold 80% of the company and in 2020 he completely disengaged to start with a new and exciting professional project.

Merpacífico defines itself as “a leading company in seafood products, committed to sustainability and care for the environment. Our focus on excellence in management and customer service sets us apart,” Conrado Merino told Diario Palentino. The also head of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Palencia reminds that “business is the vision you have”.

“I have been in the fish business in Palencia for 38 years, especially with seafood. In fact, I was considered the Jules Verne of the sector and we got to serve all the National Paradores of Spain. I am from Palencia and I am committed to keep this city and province moving forward. What is more, we have had the opportunity to set up this project elsewhere, but we bet on our land, although sometimes it seems that we are forgotten by the hand of God”, adds the Palencia businessman.

Conrado Merino regrets, in any case, that no aid is coming for major initiatives like this, “because they are turning to other large companies, mainly in the automotive sector, now that electric models or their batteries are in fashion. The fact is that, for the moment, I don’t have any subsidies, although I am waiting for some included in the regional incentives”.

Meanwhile, Conrado and Manuela Merino’s priority strategy in the short term is to consolidate in the Galician market, where they sell 20% of the product purchased, and, above all, to enter large commercial stores.

Currently, the Palencia firm is considered one of the best octopus processing plants and is prepared to serve anywhere in the world thanks to a powerful distribution network “that makes us more competitive and allows us to offer a flexible and efficient service.” record time,” says Conrado Merino.

SOCIAL COMMITMENT. Merpacífico also maintains a firm commitment to Palencia. Not only creating wealth through job creation, but also supporting groups and initiatives that are organized in the province or that are promoted by people from Palencia. Thus, he recently collaborated with the Spanish Association against Cancer (AECC) or in the training day aimed at chefs from Palencia. A company with international projection but that keeps its heart in Palencia.

Diario Palentino

Alberto Abascal

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