The foundation of SMEF
The Groupe JMI story has its roots in Madagascar with the foundation of the Société Malgache d'Équipements Frigorifiques by Guy Besnardeau.
Foundation of Réfrigépêche Est
The 1980s began with the foundation of Réfrigépêche Est, which specialized in large-scale prawn fishing in the coastal waters off the east of Madagascar.
Foundation of Sopromer
In the same year, Sopromer was born. Its goal was to sell the by-catch from its prawn fishing sister companies. By ‘by-catch’, we mean the fish caught alongside the prawns. This by-catch was sold locally in fishmongers, especially in the Hauts Plateaux region and the east coast of Madagascar.
Foundation of Réfrigépêche Ouest
Six years later, in 1986, Refrigépêche Ouest was founded. Its core activities were the same as Refrigépêche Est, but this time focused on the coastal waters to the west of Madagascar.
Foundation of Gel-Pêche
Guy Besnardeau founded Gel-Pêche to import and market prawns from Madagascar to the supermarket sector. The company subsequently grew thanks to the development of supply networks across the globe.
Foundation of FAI
To combine the know-how of SMEF with industrial freezing expertise, FAI was founded. Its goal is to design and install processing equipment, develop new technologies for the agri-food industry and develop and source processing equipment components.
Foundation of Sopemo
Sopemo opened its doors in 1991, complementing the activities of the two existing fishing ventures, Refrigépêche Est and Refrigépêche Ouest in Madagascar. It fishes for prawns in the Morondava area.
Foundation of Crusta C
In the same year, Franck Nguyen founded the Crusta C processing business in l'Isle-Jourdain, France. The Groupe JMI now covers the supply chain in its entirety from catching the prawns to the moment they end up on the consumer’s plate.
Foundation of SMAEF
Foundation of SMAEF, an industrial freezing specialist based in Morocco.
Foundation of Nov'East Seafood
The foundation of Nov'East Seafood enabled Crusta C to extend its expertise to Romania and the wider Eastern European market.
Foundation of the groupe JMI
Forty one years after the first company was founded, the groupe JMI was established to bring the various business activities of the Besnardeau and Nguyen families under the one umbrella. As a result, all of the companies are now part of the same family-owned unit.
Foundation of Gambas & Co
In the same year, groupe JMI’s first initiative comes to fruition with the foundation of Gambas & Co, which specializes in product distribution to food professionals such as restaurant owners and fishmongers. It’s based at the Rungis wholesale food market in Paris.
Foundation of Only Ze Fish
This business was founded in November 2022. Its goal is to sell Groupe JMI products in Madagascar and to showcase the first-class quality of Madagascan seafood products.
Purchase of the Purocongo prawn farm
JMI has extended its scope of activities to Ecuador, with the purchase of the Purocongo prawn farm. 
This business has been operational since 1994. Its coastal location offers an excellent site for prawn farming.
Aquadis & Aquaculture Naturellement join the group
In April 2022 the Brittany-based fish farm, Aquaculture Naturellement, joined the groupe JMI. 
This farm will enable JMI to move into the locally raised fish sector. At the same time, Aquadis became the Groupe JMI’s fifth French-based plant specialized in processing seafood products.