Aquaculture is an approximately one-billon dollar annual revenue industry that accounts for almost 50 percent of total US seafood revenues. It is an industry that continues to make national headlines because of health concerns including infectious Salmon Anemia and pollution that is damaging streams and sea bottoms.
Monterey Abalone Company is a best practices example of aquaculture done correctly. Their production process is close to 100 percent green outside of truck deliveries of its seafood products. The company is recognized by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch List as a Best Choice.
Monterey Abalone Company’s market focus is the supply shortage of abalone due to global overfishing. The company’s aquaculture process is open-water cage farming using the natural environment as its host. Most importantly, they are farming a species indigenous to Monterey Bay. The feedstock for the abalone is kelp sustainably harvested from the bay. Kelp is one of the planet’s fastest growing plants and the company’s kelp harvest represents less than 1 percent of the entire kelp acreage in the bay. No chemicals or toxins are used in the growing process. Their farming aligns with the bay’s eco-system including sea otters that actually benefit the abalone aquaculture process by controlling the crab population that feeds on abalone.
The Monterey Abalone Company is enjoying commercial success because their seafood is viewed as being sustainably grown. They sell all the abalone they can produce. Even though there is great demand for their seafood in Asia they exclusively sell to US restaurants that actively seek their product based upon its size, quality and sustainable farming practices. This marketing strategy results in a smaller transportation environmental footprint, and they are creating US jobs.
There are two key best practices to harvest from the Monterey Abalone Company. Their customers are restaurants that are “greening” their supply chain through the purchase of healthier, locally grown food. Yes, abalone is a delicacy that commands a premium price, but the Monterey Abalone Company’s sustainable aquaculture practices have positioned the company for superior revenue growth and premium price leadership.
The second best practice is the potential that sustainable aquaculture has for restoring our oceans and supplying healthy seafood to consumers. Watch the following video to hear Trevor Fay, one of the pioneering owners of Monterey Abalone Company, talk about his vision for sustainable aquaculture and best practices that can help every company grow revenues selling into the greening of the supply chain:
Bill Roth is the founder of Earth 2017. His book, The Secret Green Sauce, profiles best practices of businesses making money going green. His coaching of hundreds of businesses through the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation Green Builds Business program funded by Walmart has generated projects that are restoring jobs, the economy and the environment.