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Vianapesca PO - Product placement – Promoting canned fish with a story

This project by the Vianapesca Producer Organisation (PO) focused on adding value to local fisheries products through processing and a marketing campaign. 

This CLLD example is also available in:



Faced with the problem of low prices, the Vianapesca PO needed to find a way to enhance the value of low priced fish such as mackerel and sardine. It therefore approached the FLAG with the idea of designing a project on adding value. 

The project started with a market study to identify the best way to add value to Vianapesca PO fish. Observing a growing demand for high quality ready-to-eat seafood products, the PO decided to develop and promote a canned fish range. This included the development of new packaging in order to graphically represent the PO, its fishermen and to raise the profile of the species captured by the local fleet.

The accompanying marketing campaign focused on the quality, safety and sustainability aspects of the production as well as on the “human” story behind the product. All of these aspects helped to ensure product differentiation. 

Aside financial support, the FLAG provided advice in the project design and fostered linkages with other stakeholders involved in the marketing campaign (e.g. retailers and designers).


New promotional website for
Vianapesca products


 New layout of a fish can 
  • Results: The project led to the introduction of innovative processing methods, increasing the diversity, visibility and marketability of local products and securing better terms for fishermen.

    The volume and variety of production of the PO has increased in line with sales. The size of the wholesale/retail market has grown significantly, both nationally and internationally. In 2014, the PO had 13 canned fish products on the market. This rose to 25 in 2015, including three products using fish species that have never been canned before. Total sales came to €30 000 in the first year and €63 000 in the second year.

    A partnership with Loja das Conservas, a central Lisbon delicatessen, has helped to further raise the profile of the PO’s products. This store now acts as the main wholesaler in Portugal and is also connected to a network of international retailers in Paris, Vienna, Warsaw, and Macau (China). 

  • Transferability: Many fishing communities around the EU and beyond are struggling with the marketing of their production. This project highlights a successful example of a market-led product development process associated to a specific marketing campaign which could benefit such communities.

  • Lessons: Determining factors in the success of this project include:
    • the market study, which helped to identify the best means of adding value to fish products, the species most in demand and potential for innovation; 
    • highlighting the human dimension behind the production process (artisanal aspects of the fleet, type of fishing gear, local identity) and using it for communication purposes; 
    • the role of the Producer Organization as a driver behind the project and uniting force for the local fishermen
    • a smart partnership with a highly visible market player (Loja das Conservas) which helped maximize visibility
  • Contribution to CLLD objective: adding value, creating jobs, attracting young people, and promoting innovation at all stages of the supply chain of fisheries and aquaculture products 
Display of Vianapesca products in the Loja das conservas store in Lisbon 

Total project cost and funding

Total project cost:€199 917 
FLAG grant:€179 925 
 - EU contribution (EFF Axis 4):   €134 944 
 - Other public contribution (national):    €44 981  
Beneficiary contribution: €19 992   

Beneficiary     FLAG details
Vianapesca (Producers Organization)  Litoral Norte FLAG
Email :vianapescaop (at) Email:gac (at)
Telephone: +351258 822 016/7 Telephone: + 351 258800200
FLAG Facthseet  

Discussions and cooperation

      • Innovation in packaging: designed new boxes for fish transport.
      • Harvesting, dehydration and marketing of algae harvested in small fishing communities

Discuss and cooperate on this project on LinkedIn

Project information

  • Official project title in Member State language: Estudo para a Valorização do Pescado dos Associados da Vianapesca
  • Official project title translated into EN: Study on adding value to the fisheries products of the members of the Vianapesca Producer Organisation  
  • Implementation duration: 09-12-2011 until 18-12-2012
  • Case study date: February 2016

Key words: adding value, artisanal fisheries, product placement, exports.