StarKist CEO and Gov Lemanu meet to discuss challenges
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — President and CEO of Starkist, Chae-Ung Um and his team met with Gov Lemanu P.S. Mauga, Chief of Staff Loa Tuimavave T. Laupola, and Reverend Mageo S. Mageo at the Governor’s Conference room on Tuesday morning, April 5, 2023, during the CEO’s recent visit to the territory.
According to an ASG press release, the meeting focused on building a continuous partnership with ASG to identify solutions to help StarKist Samoa’s ongoing success.
Chae-Ung Um shared that visiting American Samoa is important to his new role and seeing the progress firsthand helps him seek out options to resolve ongoing and new challenges for the plant. StarKist Samoa recently had to shut down operations for two weeks to allow for structural-related upgrades.
He revealed that the price of tuna has increased and energy costs have gone up, making it challenging to meet customers' demand for low prices. Gov. Lemanu tasked Chief of Staff Loa to work with a group to identify options and solutions to alleviate the increase in pricing.
CEO Chae-Ung Um also expressed concerns about the National Marine Sanctuary around the Pacific Remote Islands Areas (PRIA) initiated by President Joe Biden on March 24, 2023.
The governor shared with the CEO and his team a letter addressed to President Biden discussing the American Samoa Government’s position and its awareness of the effects of climate change.
In the letter, Lemanu voiced concerns that the executive order will lead to the losses of the tuna industry in American Samoa and almost 5,000 jobs. Congresswoman Amata raised the same concerns with President Biden’s administration in a letter dated March 27, 2023.
At the conclusion of the meeting, CEO Chae- Ung Um presented a check of $10,000 and 300 cases of Wahoo to Governor Lemanu as StarKist Samoa’s donation for American Samoa’s Flag Day festivities.
In thanks, the governor presented gift bags to the team and expressed his sincerest gratitude to CEO Chae- Ung Um and his team for the generous donation.