The company has its humble beginning when it started as a small trading business related to dried fish and other fishery products. The freshly dried, affordable and high quality dried fish made it possible for the founder, Esmael U. Tan and his wife, Linda Y. Tan, to supply the products to wholesalers, resellers and household consumers nationwide.
The diligent effort of the couple has paved the way for them to slowly acquire small fishing vessels locally known as basnigan to support the trading business which they had started. With a crew of about 24-30 persons, each boat went to sea in the afternoon to lure fish with gas powered lights during the nightly fishing trips and returned early the following morning.
Soon, the company started to grow its business in 1993 and engaged itself in deep-sea fishing employing purse seine fishing gears with few vessels under the trade name E & L Marine Products, underscoring the joint effort of both Esmael & Linda in every endeavor that the couple have undertaken together. In year 2000, the company has grown its fleets with over thirty fishing vessels under the E & L Fishing Enterprises and has successfully established its headquarter at Morning Breeze Subdivision, Talon-talon, Zamboanga City. The management’s passion to provide the best opportunity and working environment for its employee-partners made it easy for BFAR to certify the sanitation program of the fishing vessels to comply with the national regulations on food safety requirements (FAO 227) applicable to commercial fishing boats.
To support its fishing operation and ensuring that the preservation of its catch will not compromise the quality of the fish that the company supplies to both local canning plants and wet markets of the nearby regions, the construction of the E & L Ice Plant and Cold Storage at Calle Fatima, Ayala, Zamboanga City was completed in March 2012. The plant has received the Certificate of Recognition of Good Manufacturing Practices from BFAR for its compliance to GMP and SSOP for fishery and aquatic products.
The ZC E & L Corporation was registered with SEC on the 22nd day of February 2013 in preparation with the company’s plan to embark in the business of producing its own brand of canned products considering the abundance of its freshly catch sardines and mackerel.
In 2015, the stakeholders purchased a canning factory which was previously owned by Seacoast Top Choice Food Corporation, a locator at the Zamboanga Fish Port Complex of the Philippine Fisheries Development Authority (PFDA) in Barangay Sangali, Zamboanga City. From the conventional way of manufacturing canned products, the company has started to modernize its facilities and automated its operation with the installation of a fish grading machine for fish sizing, nobbing machines for fish head and tail cutting, and other state-of-the-art plant machineries.
The company has continued the toll manufacturing engagements of the former stakeholders as it slowly developed its own brands of canned sardines, the Grand Kim Sardines and Chum Sardines of different variants which were successfully registered with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are being distributed throughout the Philippines, especially in the different areas of Mindanao and Visayas.
Z C E&L Corporation Today
The quest to have a plant facility that is wholly-owned rather than just a mere locator of a limited and confined area, prompted the company to establish its own plant facilities in a 10.4-hectare property in Zone 1, Dumagsa, Talisayan, Zamboanga City. The new manufacturing plant was designed and constructed in a manner that sets it apart from the traditional canning plants in the country and it utilizes cutting-edged technologies to ensure that its operation will be more productive and efficient. It has also hired well-trained and dedicated manpower to ensure and sustain its competitive edge by continuing adherence to quality and efficient service. The start of the canning operations in Talisayan has signaled the closure of the old plant in Sangali Fish Port Complex.
ZC E & L Corporation has complied with all the regulatory requirements to operate a canning business operation. In a short span of time, the plant has received its License to Operate from Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the HALAL license to produce, sell and distribute its products issued by Islamic Da'wah Conucil of the Philippines, Inc. (IDCP), and eventually the Certificate of Recognition for the Implementation of HACCP System from the Bureau of the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR). These certifications and recognitions have prepared the company to offer its products and services to international market.
Presently, the construction of additional warehouses is on its way. Soon, a pier, a shipyard and repair facilities, as well as fuel storage facilities will be constructed in the area to support the company’s fishing operation. A can manufacturing plant is also foreseen to be constructed within the complex to support its canning operation.
As a fully integrated fishing and canning company, from the fishing nets to the plate of the consumers (Net to Plate), E & L Group of Companies take pride in being an organization that has been evolving throughout the years in the City of Zamboanga, thus a truly Pride of Zamboanga!