CleanFish acquisition will allow US retail expansion
The acquisition of organic seafood supplier CleanFish by Sea 2050 will allow the company to expand beyond United Sates foodservice accounts and into retail.
Sea 2050, a new consortium of premium, traceable seafood suppliers formed by Boston, Massachusetts-based Wulf’s Fish, purchased San Francisco, California-based CleanFish for an undisclosed amount. Wulf’s is a wholesale seafood supplier to high-end restaurants.
“We have historically been almost completely a fresh fish company. This will give us much greater financial strength so we can produce some frozen items, such as, possibly, frozen organic shrimp for retail,” CleanFish Founder and Chief Fishmonger Dale Sims told SeafoodSource.
The U.S. Midwest and East Coast would be ideal markets for frozen Laughing Bird shrimp at retail, Sims added.
Currently, CleanFish supplies Laughing Bird organic shrimp, Loch Duart salmon, branzini from Mauritius, along with other seafood items, to restaurants across the U.S. via foodservice distributors. Bonefish Grill is among its restaurant customers.
CleanFish will continue to operate under the CleanFish brand and its headquarters will remain in San Francisco. Sims will remain as the founder and chief fishmonger while Anna McFarlane, president of Wulf’s, will serve as the new CEO of CleanFish.
“The goal for us is incredible quality fish that is thoughtfully sourced,” McFarlane told SeafoodSource, adding that Wulf’s got to know CleanFish since it is one of Wulf’s suppliers was one of Wulf’s suppliers. “It’s an extension of what we value at Wulf’s and Dale is a visionary."
Meanwhile, Sea 2050 is a holding company with the overall vision of “really great seafood that is responsibly sourced,” McFarlane said. “Who knows what other ventures we will get into, but we are not looking for other companies [to acquire] right now.”
Sims will continue to advocate for organic seafood, particularly in America. where it is “disappointing that the U.S. can’t agree on standards,” he said. “Organic seafood is important and will only be more important in the future.”