Seal processor Carino won't need government loans in 2014
Carino CEO says loans repaid, company 'moving forward'
A Newfoundland and Labrador seal product producer says it won't need any government loans or assistance this year to carry out its business.
Carino Processing Ltd., based in South Dildo, received loans from the government of Newfoundland and Labrador in 2012 and 2013 to help the company purchase seals from harvesters.
The province made as much as $3.6 million available in each of the past two years for the company to draw upon.
But Dion Dakins, CEO of Carino, told CBC Radio's Fisheries Broadcast that the loans have been repaid in full, and this year the company can carry on as per usual.
"The two years of loans have been a true success … and now we're moving forward with a more normalized business approach to service the edible products side of the business and the furs," Dakins said.
"The whole intention by the government was to give us a lift during a very critical period when we were looking at restructuring and getting some things in place, and we did that.
"We lived up to our end, we thank the province very much for that and we look forward to the future."
Private investment welcomed, minister says
Keith Hutchings, minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, said this is a big step for the company, and industry as a whole.
He said Carino's ability to secure financing through private investment "marked another important step in the development of the provincial sealing industry."
Hutchings said opponents of the seal hunt have challenged government spending on the industry, but the Newfoundland and Labrador government is not deterred.
"Those investments have been similar to support we make available to other industries with the potential to create positive economic activity for communities in Newfoundland and Labrador, and we are pleased with the economic activity that has been generated by sealing in recent years," he said.
Hutchings said it's an important step in highlighting the significance of the sealing industry to the province.
"The sealing industry is culturally and economically significant to many rural areas in this province. It is conducted in a humane, highly professional, and carefully monitored manner," said Hutchings.
Despite a boycott and a European Union import ban, Hutchings said Carino continues to sell its products internationally.