USDA kicks off 2023 with USD 8 million salmon buy

salmon with lemon

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is continuing its purchase of U.S. seafood products this year, awarding salmon contracts worth more than USD 8 million (EUR 7.4 million) in early January 2023.

Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.-based OBI Seafoods will supply the USDA with nearly USD 6.4 million  (EUR 6.9 million) in canned pink salmon and frozen salmon fillets, while Sitka, Alaska, U.S.A.-based Silver Bay Seafoods will supply nearly USD 1.7 million (EUR 1.6 million) the USDA said in a notice.

The USDA did not receive offers on contracts for deliveries of 266,000 pounds of frozen pollock sticks and 76,000 pounds of frozen Alaska pollock fillets “due to no offers received.” The USDA mistakenly labeled the solicitation notice for salmon products only, so it is likely that pollock suppliers did not know that pollock was requested as well.

As the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact hit the U.S. seafood industry, the USDA increased buying domestic seafood as a means of supporting the industry. Since 2020, it has upped purchases of Alaska pollock, salmon, shrimp, catfish, and other species for use in public food-assistance programs.

The agency awarded nearly USD 2 million (EUR 1.9 million) in pollock contracts to several producers in early December for fiscal 2023, after doling out near-record pollock contracts in 2022.

Braintree, Massachusetts, U.S.A-based Channel Fish Processing Co. won the majority of the contract, which will pay it USD 817,000 (EUR 757,000) for frozen breaded Alaska pollock fish sticks. Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.-based Trident won the remainder of the contract, which will see it supply around USD 785,000 (EUR 728,000) worth of bulk frozen Alaska pollock to the federal agency.

The USDA paid a record average delivered price of USD 3.65 (EUR 3.38) per pound for Alaska pollock fish sticks in May, Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers CEO Craig Morris told SeafoodSource at the time. It also bought nearly USD 23.7 million (EUR 22 million) worth of wild-caught, domestic shrimp in late December for fiscal year 2023.

New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A.-based Paul Piazza & Sons will supply the majority of the contract at USD 10.6 million (EUR 9.8 million), with Lafitte, Louisiana, U.S.A.-based Lafitte Frozen Foods picking up the remaining USD 6.4 million (EUR 5.9 million) of the deal.

Isola, Mississippi, U.S.A.-based Consolidated Catfish Companies will supply USD 797,000 (EUR 739,000) worth of shrimp, Biloxi, Mississippi, U.S.A.-based Gulf Pride Enterprises will supply nearly USD 1.2 million (EUR 1.1 million), and Ocean Select Seafood in Henderson, Louisiana, U.S.A. will supply USD 4.6 million (EUR 4.3 million).

This fall, U.S. Representative Garret Graves (R-Louisiana) announced the USDA planned to purchase USD 25 million (EUR 23.2 million) worth of Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic wild shrimp.

Graves said the purchases will provide relief to Louisianas shrimp industry, which he said has faced several recent hardships: Hurricane Ida and other natural disasters, repeated openings of the Bonnet Carre Spillway, unfair trade practices, illegal dumping of chemicals, inflation, higher fuel prices, and supply chain issues.

Photo courtesy of Sergiy Kuzmin/Shutterstock 


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