US seeks more pollock after awarding Trident new contract

The United States Department of Agriculture is looking to purchase nearly 1.7 million pounds of Alaska pollock, while awarding Trident Seafoods with its most recent contract.

The agency’s solicitation for bids on 1.672 million pounds of frozen breaded Alaska pollock fish strips is the latest round of purchases of the fish – a record number of purchases in one year.

Meanwhile, Trident snagged a USDA contract worth nearly USD 3.5 million (EUR 3.1 million) to supply frozen Alaska Pollock for child nutrition and other domestic nutrition programs. Trident will deliver more than 2 million pounds of pollock to several cities between September 2019, and January 2020.

In early May, the USDA set a record for the most pollock purchases in a year – even with five months to go in the fiscal year. By early May, the agency agreed to purchase around 13.8 million pounds of pollock, compared to around 13.4 million for the entire fiscal year of 2017, when there was excess inventory.

The USDA’s new solicitation for bids is an “entitlement purchase where the States are using their National School Lunch Program commodity credits to buy wild Alaska pollock,” Craig Morris, CEO of the Association of Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers, told SeafoodSource. “Clearly this is more great news for wild Alaska pollock, knowing the school districts want to plate our product.”

This year’s record purchases can partially be attributed to U.S. legislators encouraging the USDA last year to purchase additional Alaska pollock, due to a challenges caused by the U.S.-China trade war.  

As a result, the USDA agreed to provide Alaska pollock through the Emergency Food Assistance Program, the agency’s partnership with the Nation's food banks.


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