Starkist Food d’Or Ltd., established in 1999, has the exclusive concession in Israel for production, marketing and distribution of all Starkist products. The concession is permanent and also covers the Palestinian Autonomous areas. The company holds more than 40% market share of the canned fish market in Israel and is the largest in the sector.
The company processes and produces fish products under the “StarKist”, “Yonah” “Laguna” and “Noon” brands, as well as private label for other companies.
The company is an authorized supplier of the Israeli Ministry of Defense.
The company exports its products overseas with an emphasis on the ultra-orthodox Jewish community worldwide.
In recent years, the company’s income has been consistently rising: in 2013, sales totaled NIS 261 million and the forecast for 2014 is NIS 266 million. In 2000, Starkist Food d’Or purchased the assets of the veteran canned-fish company “Yonah”, including its factory in Tirat Carmel, as well as the assets of “Noon” and began producing most of its products in Israel. In November 2005, Michael Mitelman acquired all shares of Starkist from Heinz and became the sole owner of the company.
In August 2009, he sold 50% of his shares to Diplomat, which apart from being Starkist’s distributor, is now also a 50% partner in the company.
Starkist invests major resources in developing new products and each year launches an innovative series of products such as StarKist’s flavored tuna series, 5% Fat tuna, 99 Calories tuna, Premium smoked fish fillets, a variety of patés and more. For the past four years - StarKist 5% Fat, StarKist 99 Calories, StarKist Select
Fillet (smoked fish fillets series) and Light tuna chunks in extra virgin olive oil - were given the “Consumers
Choice – Product of the Year” award. For the past four years, StarKist has also won the international “Superbrands” award for demonstrating marketing excellence.
The plant in Tirat Carmel covers an area of 14,000 sq.m., in which fish are processed including: tuna fillets, sardines, sprats, mackerel and salmon.
All products are processed using the most advanced technology and strictest methods. The company has about 150 employees of whom the majority are production workers.
As an international standards brand, strictness in product quality is observed throughout the production chain through organoleptic and microbiological testing as required by Israel’s food authority standards, in accordance with the strictest international standards and the rigorous standards of Heinz. At Starkist Food d’Or, quality control activities begin with the raw material producers, which without exception undergo quality inspection at their factories in the presence of Starkist’s food engineer.
Starkist’s tuna is found naturally in the Pacific ocean’s deep water.
The fishing companies and fishing methods meet the strict standards required for EU marketing. Starkist uses only tuna fillets for its products, which is the selected premium part of the fish. The company has ISO 9001:2008 Quality certification, ISO 22000:2005 Safety certification, and ISO 14001:2007 Environmental certification, Ministry of Health approval for GMP production and Export licenses. Starkist applies strict Dolphin Safe regulations which comply with its green environment policy.
R&D Stresses Range, Taste and Health
The company’s Development department is comprised of the best food engineers and technicians in the field, who strive at all times to develop new fish products, which give added value for consumers and are suited to lifestyle and consumption opportunities at home and or outdoors. All developments emphasize adapting flavor to Israeli consumer tastes and every product undergoes sensoric research. In recent years, the global food trend towards eating healthier and more nutrient food has strengthened. Starkist constantly follows this trend. It has been scientifically proven that fish in general and tuna in particular have healthy and beneficial nutritional values. Stress is placed on natural ingredients and products with high quality nutritional values.
Starkist products have a range of Kosher certificates suited for various population groups:
Badatz, the Jerusalem ultra-orthodox community, Agudat Yisrael, Neve Tzion, Hatam Sofer, OU, and Tirat Carmel local rabbinate certification. The plant is Kosher for Passover for kitniot eaters all year round. Before Passover the company produces products without kitniot under the supervision of special Rabbinical authorities.
Marketing and Distribution
The company markets and distributes through “Diplomat,” Israel’s largest independent distributor. The company’s products are marketed throughout the country to all population sectors.
Consumer satisfaction is top of Starkist’s agenda and befitting a leading brand the company sees great importance in demonstrating responsibility and transparency to its many loyal consumers.
The company’s customer service operations are charged with a swift and quality response to consumer questions and enquiries on a range of product related topics and quality related complaints.
The advanced computerized systems in the factory enable every can made to be traced as well as the exact time it was produced. This enables checking and handling of every complaint in the most efficient way.