Francisco Rodriguez Tenório, a man with distinguished features, wide sideburns and a determined gaze. Was pioneer in the usage of tuna portions from the primest cut for his canned tuna. A man of vision and a successful industrialist that was responsable for the development of a timeless and superior quality preserve.

In the late XIX century he established his business in Vila Real de António, in the south of Portugal, a land where the fishing was so intense, the preservation of tuna was a dire necessity. This was when and where the Portuguese canning industry took it`s first steps.

Tenório all his knowledge on tuna to formulate a disctinct preserve and create his own industry The secret behind the cleaning and cutting of the fish is then applied at the factory of São Francisco, founded in 1880 to produce it`s original preserve – TUNA IN “ESCABECHE”

IN 1960, Tenório preserves set sail for the Azores , where they are still produced to this day at Cofaco factories, using only the finest tuna fillets over one century later, Tenório preserves keep complying with the same high quality requirements and artesanal manufacturing.

Tenorio is a registered brand of Cofaco.



With over a century of experience, Portuguese company Cofaco is dedicated to the production and distribution of the best quality canned foods.

Cofaco’s history intertwines with that of the Portuguese canning industry. From the end of the 19th century, fishing and canning went hand-in-hand, a result not only of industrial expansion throughout Europe, but also of increased demand due to the two world wars.

In Vila Real de Santo António (Algarve, Portugal), tuna fishing was so important that the production of canned fish became a necessity. It was at this time that its consumption became widespread, catapulting the region to an industrial benchmark and an international point of reference. Much of the canning production was exported, mainly to countries like Italy and Spain.

Cofaco was created in 1961, as the result of a merger of two large canneries in the Algarve – Centeno, Cumbrera & Ca. and Raul Folque & Filhos.

Based in Vila Real de Santo António, they were, at the time, the largest Portuguese canning group.

However, during the second half of the 20th century, the tuna began to change their migratory route. Fishing started drying up along the Algarve coast, forcing fishermen to go further and further afield in search of the fish.

To overcome this situation, the canning industry began to relocate, and in 1962 Cofaco settled in the Azores – an “oasis” in the Atlantic Ocean.

However, during the second half of the 20th century, the tuna began to change their migratory route. Fishing started drying up along the Algarve coast, forcing fishermen to go further and further afield in search of the fish.

To overcome this situation, the canning industry began to relocate, and in 1962 Cofaco settled in the Azores – an “oasis” in the Atlantic Ocean.

It subsequently relocated to Ribeira Grande, where Cofaco inaugurated the industrial hub of Rabo de Peixe in 1994, and where it still concentrates all of its production. Currently, Cofaco is one of the largest industrial employer in the Azores archipelago, and has a significant bearing on the region’s GDP.


Mission –  TO TAKE THE BEST PORTUGUESE CANNED FISH OVERSEAS, responding to the real needs of our customers and consumers, in the various markets.



Cofaco’s heritage of knowledge allows us to maintain a manufacturing process based on the principles of traditional customs. Being mostly manual, it perpetuates the knowledge of generations dedicated to the canning industry.

The quality of our canned foods is a fundamental concern throughout the entire value chain and a vector that defines each of its stages; from raw materials to the packaging.

The history of Cofaco is defined by the shared vision that, over the centuries, has united great men: to be relevant in the canning industry. This is a train of thought that, even today, guides us daily.

We believe in our ability to anticipate trends and foster a culture of innovation as a driver of sustainable growth.

It is the People who add value to our products, with each can containing the knowledge and flavour of tradition.

The excellence of Portuguese canned foods stems from those who make them.



Cofaco holds the “Dolphin Safe” status granted by the “Earth Island Institute”, which ensures that dolphins are not caught or harmed in this fishery. Monitoring of these fisheries has been carried out since 1998 by the Azores Fisheries Observation Program, POPA.

The “Friend of the Sea” certificate verifies the sustainability of fisheries by ensuring that fish are caught responsibly, in areas where there is no stock-holding, and with minimal impact on the environment. It was awarded in 2001 to tuna fishery using the pole-and-line technique.

Cofaco is certified by BRC Global Standards, a leading quality and safety certification program, which ensures the standardisation of quality, safety and operational criteria and ensures that manufacturers comply with their legal obligations and protect the end consumer.


Through APASA, Association of Tuna Producers and Similar in the Azores, Cofaco is a member of the International Pole & Line Foundation (IPNLF). Thus, it contributes to the development and promotion of sustainable fisheries, through the pole-and-line technique.

Cofaco cooperates with the Department of Oceanography and Fisheries of the University of the Azores, investing in scientific research aimed at preserving marine life and a sustainable “use” of the Atlantic Ocean. This program covers national and international projects.

As sustainability is a major concern for Cofaco, an integration process is underway with the International Sustainability Seafood Foundation (ISSF), which contributes to the protection of the species’ ecosystem. With this association, our goal is to achieve an MSC Certification over the next 5 years.

The sectors


Everything begins at sea, along the Azores coastline. Our boats are dedicated to sustainable tuna fishing and thus we only obtain the best raw material. Through Compico, we have a growing fleet that allows us to work at the root of the business.

We are proud to be able to say that part of our production comes from fish we catch ourselves.


Management of the value chain continues in our factory, where the fish is cleaned by hand in a time-honoured way. Following the secular tradition of the canning industry, it is here that more than 300 employees exert the art of working the fish.

Currently, we have our manufacturing unit on the island of São Miguel, where we obtain a high quality final product thanks to the expertise passed down from generation to generation to the present day. Every year, more than 50 million cans are produced here, from the Azores to the World.


Proximity is a factor that we privilege throughout the entire process, from fishing to the commercialisation of the products. Since 1990, with the integration of Coresa, Cofaco has total control of the value chain. The goal is simple: to provide the best service.

With an experienced commercial team, we work towards a service that is adapted to the needs of each client, so that Cofaco brands reach all consumers, always providing a genuine consumer experience.

The Product

Practical, versatile and nutritious, canned fish is an undeniably popular food.

The development of tuna in the Atlantic Ocean guarantees unrivalled quality and, in the Azores, we preserve a taste and texture that makes ours a product of outstanding quality.

Of the various species of tuna, Cofaco favours the Skipjack (Katsuwonus pelamis), commonly known as Bonito or Gaiado.

In our factory, skillful hands prepare and cook the tuna, which is then preserved in oil, olive oil or brine, and sterilized.

The end result is a 100% natural product, without the addition of preservatives, and with a lasting taste and texture.

Sardines a true symbol of Portuguese gastronomy, canned sardines are highly appreciated the World over and represent a market with great international potential,

Source of informations and images: cofaco.pt

Tenório products at Cannedfish: