Winners of giant USDA pollock, catfish buys announced

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded nearly USD 20.9 million (EUR 17 million) in contracts as it continues to purchase Alaska pollock for use in federal food and nutrition assistance programs.

Two suppliers nabbed the pollock contracts: Seattle, Washington-based Trident Seafood earned USD 15.1 million (EUR 12.4 million) worth of the contract, while Channel Fish Processing in Braintree, Massachusetts, snared nearly USD 5.8 million (EUR 4.8 million).

This is the USDA’s third-largest pollock purchase in the agency’s history, according to Craig Morris, the CEO of trade and marketing association Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers. The USDA purchased USD 20 million (EUR 16.6 million) worth of Alaska pollock as part of a larger, USD 70.9 million (EUR 58.7 million) purchase of U.S.-caught fish and shrimp products earlier this month.

“These recent substantial purchases of wild Alaska pollock by the [Biden] administration to provide a domestically caught and processed sustainable and healthy protein to our nation’s most vulnerable means so much our industry,” Morris told SeafoodSource.

Alaska pollock has moved up to fourth place on the list of most consumed seafoods by Americans, Morris said.

“USDA is clearly giving their recipients what American’s are already choosing to buy more and more: wild Alaska pollock,” Morris said.

The award is for a number of different pollock products, including fish sticks, nuggets, fillets, and bulk blocks for reprocessing into various end items.

The USDA also announced the purchase of nearly USD 19 million (EUR 15.6  million) worth of farmed domestic catfish. The contract for USD 18.8 million (EUR 15 million) worth of unbreaded catfish fillets and catfish strips was awardedto America’s Catch in Itta Benna, Mississippi; Heartland Catfish in Itta Bena; Consolidated Catfish Companies in Isola, Mississippi; and Magnolia Processing in Tunica, Mississippi.

The USDA is now asking for bids on 416,482 cases of canned pink salmon. Bids must be submitted by 8 June and acceptances will be announced by 22 June.

Photo courtesy of GK1982/Shutterstock


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