The beginning of factories for fish processing

In 1879 Frenchman Emile Louis Roullet bought the land near the cliffs of the church St. Peter's and the chapel with the same name. He also bough a par of the beach with small bay in the vicinity of Vascotto's baths and built the first factory for processing and canning fish. It began to operate on the 20th of January 1881.


The factory was opened by the French company General French company for canned foods (Societe Generale Francaise). The locals named it "fabrica dei Francesi" or "fabrica dei bagni".

The second factory was built by Warhanek from Vienna and it began to operate on the 22nd of December 1882. Warhanek was the first to build a fish canning factory in the Gulf of Trieste in Duino near Trieste1867. Giovanni Degrassi built one smaller factory in 1882. In 1904 Troion and some stockholder opened the fourth factory (S.I. Prodotti Alimentari Torrigiani).

The factories fried, marinated and canned eels from Venetian lagoon. "Russian anchovies" were fried and canned in olive oil in tin cans. The cans of 125 g were filled with 5 to 10 anchovies. The largest cans contained one kilogram of anchovies. Salted anchovies were exported in boxes of one to ten kilos. Herrings from Norway were cleaned, marinated In mixture of vinegar and spices and caned in small barrels. Fish waste was used by Roullet to make fertilizer. Fish heads were used by fishermen as bait.

More than half of production was sold to the foreign markets.

Austrian ownership

French company Roullet was bought by Anglo-Austrian bank in Trieste in 1893. The factory was renamed in Usines de láncienne Societe´Generale Francoise de conserves alimentares. With new management the Izola factory became even more successful.

Factories also processed plums, peas, beans, meat, tomatoes and salted and marinated fish. This was a way of keeping the pace during dead season, when fishing in fool moon was forbidden or when there was a lack of fish during the natural oscillation due to spawning. Management took care of active marketing. It sent the company's products to the fairs worldwide, winning many awards. It maintained solid contacts with agents and clients and became the main supplier for imperial army.

It exported to all the countries of Europe, Russia, Near East and United States of America.


World War I

The lack of raw materials and men work power during WWI paralyzed all of the industrial activities in this region. In 1918 production stopped completely and the factory was closed until 1920. Izola was infested by poverty and famine. To make thing worse, drought, plague and Spanish flu struck the miserable people.

In the war time fishing was forbidden. Sea was full of drifting mines, net and night fishing were strictly forbidden. Vessels had to stay in port during the nights. Most of men were in front lines. Older fishermen and women, who worked in factories, remained unemployed

New rise of the factories

In 1920 the whole Austrian bank's property in Izola was bought by Italian company S. A. Conservifici. The same company also bought the Degrassi factory and S. I. Prodotti Alimentari Torrigiani.


In 1930 S. A. Conservatrici was restructured and renamed to Ampelea Conservatrici S. A. The former Warhanek factory was taken over by new owner, Giorgio Sanguetti. In 1926 it was renamed to Arrigoni.

Ampeleas rise was fast as lightning. It had strong support in Italy and aimed to please its market, but also to accumulate foreign currency at expense of its own cheap working power. The factory was modernized with new steam boilers, autoclave for sterilization under pressure at 125°C, new working halls and electricity.

Manufacture used anchovies, pilchards, mackerels, tuna and leerfish. The produced various fish cans, fish meal, fish oil, boneless filets of imported fish, marmalade, canned vegetables, salty filets of anchovies in glasses, tomato sauce and concentrate. Because of American and Canadian markets the quality of the products was of the utmost importance. The factory employed special tasters, who ensured the ripeness and quality of salted fish, filets and pates. The last of the tasters stopped to work in 1950.

In 1938 Ampelea and Arrigoni organized their own fishing fleet of 31 vessels. Arrigonis fleet also had vessels for fishing tuna. Ampelea bought two transport ships for importing frozen fish.


World War II and time after war

After 1943 our territory was occupied by German troops. Germany thus took the sovereignty from Italian Republic and incorporated Slovene territories into the Third Reich.

When the war ended so called peoples authority of Regional Liberation Front took over the factories. Work was very limited due to the political uncertainty, foreign ownership and lack of raw materials.

In 1947 the central authorities in Belgrade issued an order to haul off all of the modern machinery to Croatia. They were afraid that peace treaty wouldn’t acknowledge this territory as part of Yugoslavia. That only worsened the situation and in a long run brought a lot of negative consequences. What was left in Izola was only very old and almost useless equipment. The factory was nationalized and renamed "Ex Ampelea".


The peace treaty assigned Izola to the Zone B of Free Territory.

The act of self-management made the company in 1950 social property and a year later it got under the management of working collective. In 1952 The Import-export company of fresh and canned fish Delamaris was formed. 1954 was a big turning point in Delamaris history as the Zone B was annexed to Yugoslavia. Modernization with buying of new autoclave and canning machine followed. The waste material was used to produce fish meal and the production of fish oil was reintroduced. In 1956 the factory was renamed Iris and Arrignoni was renamed Argo. In 1959 reorganization of the whole food industry resulted in uniting Iris, Argo, Delamaris and Ikra from Koper (former de Langlade) and Combine of can industry Delamaris, which operated until 1973, was formed. The plant Iris worked with fish products and Argo with other food products.

The following years were like a roller coaster ride, full of reorganization attempts.

Lack of domestic fish after 1962 resulted in redirection of production to fruit and vegetable products, soup concentrates and mixed fish cans.

In 1973 the fish companies joined other similar Slovene companies in United company of food industry HP Ljubljana.

In 1978 they merged with Droga Portorož and worked in this form until 1989.

Delamaris in recent decades

Attainment of independence of Slovenia brought reduction of natural market and made the companies redirect their strategies to eastern and western foreign markets, facing strong competition. Consequently reorganization and increasing of productiveness followed, made possible by automation and reduction of manpower.

In January 1992 business system for fishery and canned food was formed. The principal holder was HOLDING DELAMARIS p.o. Izola.

The system included the following companies: Delsar Ltd. (can industry), Riba Ltd. (fishing), Delmar Ltd. (fish trading), Lera Ltd. (fish farming) and Frigomar Ltd. (frozen fish packing).


In 1997 the privatization in this branch was finalized and four new companies were formed: Delamaris PLC, Delmar Ltd., Riba Ltd. and Frigomar Ltd.

In August 2008, the production division was separated from the Delamaris, konzervna industrija d.d. public limited company, and began functioning independently within the Delamaris, konzervna industrija, d.o.o. company (abbreviated name: Delamaris d.o.o.).

In December 2009, the Pivka perutninarstvo d.d. company became the owner of Delamaris d.o.o. by purchasing 100% of the company, and began investing in the development of production activities and the Delamaris trademark, thus enabling the preservation of jobs within the company.