25 Nov 2014

Cannery expansion limited by land in American Samoa

3:30 pm on 25 November 2014

The new chief executive of the United States canned tuna company Starkist has visited American Samoa to confirm his committment to employees.

However Andrew Choe could not confirm that the already 2000-strong workforce would be increased.

Mr Choe says his visit is to show his appreciation for the Starkist Samoa employees and to the local government for its support.

The company is looking for land to set up cold storage facilities and he says the Governor, Lolo Matalasi Moliga, has been helpful.

But he says unless land can be found, there won't be any new jobs.

"We want to expand, that is our intention. However having said that, the land space is the limiting factor. Without that land, there's no way to hire more employees because we don't have space, so that's the big issue."

Andrew Choe also confirmed Starkist's owners have bought a local can plant, now called Talofa Systems American Samoa.