While the coronavirus pandemic and resulting lockdowns across Europe have been devastating for many businesses, Albania's anchovy industry is reporting a boom in demand for its product.
The Nettuno Anchovy factory, located in the port city of Durres on Albania's Adriatic Sea coast, had been forced to reduce its staff due to lockdown regulations that have been in place for weeks in the country.
But that smaller staff is working all the harder — while wearing masks and other protective gear — to meet a demand that has risen by 30 percent since the pandemic began. The Nettuno factory has been forced to reduce staff to respect social distancing measures in Albania, which has been under lockdown for weeks in hopes stemming the number of COVID-19 deaths, which now stand at 16. And yet the factory is trying to ramp up output to meet demand for the canned fish among Europeans hunkered down under coronavirus quarantines.
Plant owner Orlando Salvatore tells the French news agency he believes the anchovies are popular because they are easily shipped in enclosed containers, considered nutritious, and are popular with Europeans on pizzas, which he says more people are making at home because of their confinement.
Salvatore says most of the increased sales are going to Spain and Italy, but the company ships to France and elsewhere in Europe as well.
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