The Top 25: Inland Seafood Q&A
Inland Seafood is featured in The Top 25: Sustainability & Conservation list, published by SeafoodSource on 24 September, 2020.
SeafoodSource: What kind of trends have informed Inland Seafood’s latest sustainability/conservation efforts?
Inland: Traceability continues to play a lead role in our sustainability efforts. Customers are asking more and more questions beyond country of origin and harvest method. As we continually work to improve our internal systems, we’re making sure we’re tracking many kinds of information, and weighing in on efficient ways to collect and distribute that data. Total utilization of seafood is another sustainability trend we’ve been putting energy into; not just within our own operations, but helping our customers celebrate and innovate around working with and serving whole fish, trying underutilized species, and making the most of every fish harvested. We’re also excited to see more fish and shellfish being cooked at home. Consumers are becoming more confident cooking seafood in their own kitchens; making sure they have access to sustainable seafood is key.
“It’s exciting to see issues of sustainability continue to move into the mainstream. I think positive trends that we’re seeing in restaurants and retail like efforts to reduce food waste or working to eliminate single-use plastics like disposable straws will stick with us. People want to find ways they can make a difference. Making smart choices when it comes to what kind of seafood you’re buying, or keeping the discussion going around waste are ways we can all feel like we’re having a positive impact,” Inland Seafood Director of Sustainability Mary Smith says.
SeafoodSource: What key features serve to set Inland Seafood’s sustainable seafood offerings apart in the market?
Inland: We’re committed to working with our local fishermen and farmers – not just buying and promoting their offerings, but engaging in policy or other projects that will help build sustainable and diverse communities. Healthy, working waterfronts benefit everyone and by working as directly as possible with local producers, we’re part of building the future we all want; healthy oceans, a strong economy, and an affordable, consistent supply of diverse, local seafood. The fact that we’re a 100 percent employee owned company (ESOP) is another feature our customers appreciate. We feel an acute responsibility to every single employee. Being an ESOP sets us apart and drives us to ensure we’re engaging not just with our shareholders, but with every person in the supply chain. That human connection is very important to us.
SeafoodSource: How does sustainability factor into your overall mission and strategy as a business?
Inland: Ensuring all Americans have access to a steady, consistent supply of safe and nutritious seafood is not only key to our overall strategy, but we feel it’s key to the success of our country. We’re focused on finding innovative ways to source and promote sustainable seafood in an effort to increase overall consumption of fish and shellfish. Seafood is healthy and nutritious, and it is also a socially and culturally significant part of the fabric of our country.
“Although the landscape has changed dramatically over the years, Inland’s philosophy has been time-tested. We have been an advocate of preserving the very resource that has given us our livelihood for over 40 years. Our customers, and our customers’ customers, know that our value is only surpassed by our quality, service and leadership in the industry,” Inland Seafood President Chris Rosenberger says.