Big Picture Report: February 2020
Bernadette Wiltz, SUSTA
Southern Seafood, a Great Catch
Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and the Chesapeake Bay, it is not surprising that the SUSTA region is home to some of top fish and seafood producing states in the country. Indeed, customers around the world recognize the unique, high quality and versatile fish and seafood products from the Southern U.S.
Nationally, fish and seafood exports are a more than $5 billion business. That’s as much as total U.S. poultry exports. Of course, much of those seafood exports originate in the Southern U.S. In fact, fish and seafood perennially are one of the top export items from our SUSTA sponsored events in Europe, Asia and even here in the U.S. where we bring foreign buyers attend. Like past years, SUSTA is organizing some key seafood promotion activities in 2020 to help our Southern companies meet the world’s demand for U.S. seafood.
First up is an American Seafood promotion at the Seafood Expo North America held in Boston in March.A representative from SUSTA will be on hand to personally introduce all the SUSTA companies exhibiting in Boston to a group of key buyers from Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries.
In April, SUSTA is once again participating in the world’s largest seafood trade show: Seafood Expo Global in Brussels, Belgium. This is an annual SUSTA event and it is the trade show in the seafood industry. Last year’s show hosted more than 29,000 buyers from 78 countries, reaching well beyond the EU. Key seafood industry decision makers from around the world regularly attend this landmark event, which always rates among SUSTA’s most successful activities for the year. In each of the last two years, SUSTA companies reported first time sales to no less than five new markets.
Finally, in September, SUSTA is scheduled to be at Seafood Expo Asia in Hong Kong. This show is always a great opportunity to expand export sales across Asia. At the 2018 show, SUSTA exhibitors reported making new quality contacts with more than 100 buyers.
There are other SUSTA events that, although not seafood-specific, could create good opportunities for seafood companies in other markets. For instance, the Seoul Food and Hotel show in Korea, scheduled for May, and an Outbound Trade Mission to Colombia in August. The U.S. has free trade agreements with both countries, making them stable long-term markets.Korea is the fifth largest global market for U.S. food, agriculture and seafood products, and demand for U.S. products continues to grow. Colombia is the largest and fastest growing market for U.S. food products in South America.
I urge you to consider these activities. They promise to be a great opportunity to “hook” some new sales!