Blue Harvest: Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, Commitment to Locally Sourced Products Is More Important Than Ever
Tuesday, March 24, 2020 11:45 AM
NEW BEDFORD, MA / ACCESSWIRE / March 24, 2020 / An ongoing investigation by The Nielsen Company into consumer preferences in light of the COVID-19 outbreak has found "shoppers are exhibiting signs that they may steer away from products that travelled long distances with multiple human touchpoints…". The study finds that, "consumers have generally displayed strong preferences for local dairy and fresh produce brands and products versus those coming from further afield."
As distressing as the current world situation is - both epidemiologically and economically - our New England fisheries need to rise to the challenge to meet the needs of our citizens. According to Nielsen, amid "…the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, anxieties around origins of products and ingredients are likely to fuel increased demand for even more local sourcing."
As is widely known throughout the industry, in recent years, many retailers and food service companies in the eastern United States have opted for imported fresh seafood from Iceland and Norway, or previously frozen product from Iceland, Norway or China. But right here in our local New England waters, we have a tremendous natural resource that is underfished and underutilized in our haddock, ocean perch, and Atlantic pollock stocks.
Given the proximity of these stocks to our harbors, markets and transportation infrastructure, there is no risk of supply interruption from disruption of air transport from Europe, or ocean transport of twice-frozen product from China. And there is no risk of reduced availability and resulting price increases from a lack of air freight capacity.
Unlike some imported product, our local fresh seafood is neither twice-frozen nor refreshed. Local, wild-caught haddock, ocean perch and Atlantic pollock are all-natural, MSC-certified and 100% traceable from ocean to plate.
As a vertically-integrated harvester and processor with an SQF certified, 160,000 square foot seafood processing facility on the New Bedford waterfront, Blue Harvest is ready to meet the demand for locally produced, transparently sourced product.
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In these difficult and troubling times, the following are ways we at Blue Harvest are ensuring the integrity of our product.
- Control over the supply chain - Blue Harvest has complete control and oversight over its supply chain, from the minute we harvest it from the water to the minute we ship it out to the customer. With this level of control, we are able to ensure the quality and safety of our product at every step of the process.
- Our catch is local - All of our groundfish and scallop products are harvested from the New England waters of Georges Bank and the Gulf of Maine. These are some of the most closely monitored and tightly regulated fisheries in the world, with all of them certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council. By having products that are local and fully traceable, we are better able to ensure their quality.
- No risk of international disruption - By focusing our efforts on harvesting local, underutilized stocks, we are able to avoid any uncertainties and disruptions that may arise in the international supply chain. Our products are at no risk of disruptions to air travel and shipping, and will not be subject to price changes due to lack of availability.
We are also committed to maintaining a safe work environment for our employees. Here are the ways that Blue Harvest is ensuring the health of our employees and the quality of our product.
- New Workplace Precautions - Blue Harvest's New Bedford, MA processing plant is SQF Food Safety and Quality Certified and meets the highest possible global food safety standards. In addition, Blue Harvest is making sure that all common workplace areas are properly sanitized, and that employees are practicing proper hand washing and disinfecting practices. Employees have been told to not come to work if they are experiencing any flu-like symptoms, and employees who wish to do so are allowed to work remotely.
- New Facility Restrictions - Outside access to our facility will be restricted to government, health and safety officials, and those critical to the operation of the plant.
- New Vessel Protocols - Our vessel captains have been instructed to routinely disinfect common surfaces in all vessels, and to check all crewmembers for illness prior to boarding the vessel.
About Blue Harvest Fisheries
Blue Harvest Fisheries is a leading supplier of premium quality seafood sustainably harvested from MSC certified fisheries in the U.S. The company operates its own fleet of scallop and groundfish vessels as well as offload facilities in Newport News, VA and Fairhaven, MA and an SQF certified waterfront manufacturing facility in New Bedford, MA. The Blue Harvest Fisheries product line features sea scallops, Pacific cod, haddock, ocean perch (Acadian redfish) and Atlantic pollock (saithe). The company also offers swordfish and tuna from approved third-party vessels. Blue Harvest Fisheries products are sold fresh and frozen under the Blue Harvest brand to leading restaurants, wholesalers and distributors across the U.S. and abroad. The company also offers custom processing and is a supplier of private label products to retailers and food service distributors. For more information visit www.blueharvestfisheries.com.
Stove Boat Communications
SOURCE: Blue Harvest Fisheries