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StarKist is swimming upstream to a new digs in Pittsburgh, a move that will give it room to grow.

The tuna manufacturer is moving from the Del Monte center to the Equitable Gas Building on Pittsburgh's North Shore and has plans to expand from 70 to 115 employees this year. Starkist will occupy 32,000 square feet at Equitable, double the size of its space at Del Monte. This marks the third move for the 65-year-old purveyor of tunafish, which established its first office in the Dominion Towers.

A leading national producer of shelf-stable and frozen seafood products, Starkist was the first seafood company to innovate with the "fresh flavor pouch," taking its fish out of aluminum cans and using greener, healthier packaging for food. The company was also the first to adopt a dolphin-safe policy in April 1990 to save dolphin lives. Its charismatic spokesperson, Charlie the Tuna, was instrumental in putting the company on the map and family tables.

"At StarKist we are committed to Pittsburgh and committed to growing our business in this great city," says Donald Binotto, President and CEO, in a statement. Binotto assumed the reins of StarKist in October 2008 with the sale of the business to Dongwon Corporation from Del Monte Foods.

Under his leadership, the company initiated several changes aimed at keeping American Samoan operations globally competitive and preventing facility closure. Starkist announced earlier this year, however, that for competitive reasons the company will lay off up to 800 of its 1,700 workers in American Samoa. The company also employs 2,520 in Ecuador.

Writer: Debra Diamond Smit
Source: Starkist Inc.

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