East Coast Seafood Group renovates Seatrade plant in New Bedford
Topsfield, Massachusetts, U.S.A.-based East Coast Seafood Group has renovated the 66,000-square-foot Seatrade plant in New Bedford, Massachusetts to turn it into a “state-of-the-art lobster facility,” the company said in a statement on 5 June.
New technology installed in the plant has given the company higher automation, superior packaging options, and better logistical layout, resulting in improved efficiency and product quality and shorter lead times for fulfillment of lobster orders and shipments, the company said.
Senior Vice President of Operations Bob Blais said the decision to renovate comes from increased sales and a desire to combine the company’s lobster and scallop processing under one roof.
“Beyond efficiencies, the new operation brings with it new product and packaging ideas as well as streamlined delivery to market. Many customers are familiar with East Coast lobster products and many others with Seatrade scallops, and now one facility offers the best of both,” Blais said.
East Coast launched its Salt & Sky brand in 2018, and the company has since been diversifying and expanding its foodservice and retail product portfolio, senior vice president of sales and marketing Steve Musser said.
“[The Salt & Sky brand] continues to spawn new consumption opportunities for the company’s various sales channels,” Musser said. “The new highly-automated facility provides benefits to a broad customer base through production innovations, which in turn complement the companies’ seafood appetizers and entrée offerings. Product is being produced in the U.S.A. and shipped throughout the country, speeding up turnaround on orders and increasing quality for foodservice, national accounts, retail and club channels.”
East Coast acquired its New Bedford facility in 2012 as part of its takeover of Seatrade. Earlier this year, it shuttered its Garbo Lobster facility in Groton, Connecticut, which had been used a base of operations for shipping live lobsters, though the company still operates other lobster facilities in Maine and Atlantic Canada.
“Innovation in seafood production and the resulting products advancements are critical to our success and to that of our customers” Musser said. “We’re continuing to evolve our operations to meet and exceed expectations at all channels of distribution. By increasing efficiencies within our own facility, we’re creating a ripple-effect that impacts stakeholders throughout the distribution chain and ultimately the end consumer. Our goal is to provide increased frequency of purchase with innovative commodity and value add products for foodservice, retail and club sectors, expanding on the dining out experience and providing in home chef inspired seafood items. Within our industry, increasing value for customers, is a win-win for everybody.”