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Big Picture: September


Bernadette Wiltz, SUSTA

The State of Southern Seafood

Of the many things that make Southern U.S. cuisine famous around the world, fish and seafood certainly rank high on the list. From Gulf shrimp to Chesapeake blue crabs, from oysters to catfish, to the many fin fish varieties landed across the Southern coastline, the world loves Southern U.S. fish and seafood.

Indeed, the SUSTA region is a top seafood producer in the U.S. Six SUSTA states rank in the top 10 in aquaculture production, and three States rank in the top five in total commercial seafood landings.

Not surprisingly, seafood is perennially one of the top products promoted by Southern companies through SUSTA activities and typically nets $10’s of millions in sales. That is why SUSTA has once again scheduled its participation in two major seafood events again for 2021: Seafood Export Global and Seafood Expo Asia (not open for registration yet). Both shows have earned a perfect customer service rating – five on a scale of one-to-five – from the most recent show participants.

There are other events, too, which are great venues to promote seafood products, like the Colombia Outbound Trade Mission and the Seoul Food & Hotel show. Colombia, a country which the U.S. has a free trade agreement, is the second largest seafood importer in Latin America. Korea, which has growing per capita consumption of seafood, has also reduced certain import duties on U.S. origin seafood under the Korea-U.S. trade agreement.

Seafood Expo Asia has attendees from more than 30 countries and Seafood Expo Global is the largest industry event in the world, with attendees from 155 countries. In 2021, Expo Global – which in the past has been held in Brussels, Belgium – will be in a new venue in Barcelona, Spain.

The new location adds a twist to this tried and true promotion. According to USDA, Spain is a $6.8 billion seafood import market and a top 10 market for U.S. exports, and neighboring Portugal has the highest per capita seafood consumption in Europe. This event will be an exciting new opportunity to promote Southern U.S. seafood products.

I would urge all Southern seafood companies to strongly consider these activities in 2021. More information can be found on SUSTA’s website and through your MySUSTA account. Let SUSTA’s programs help you net new export sales.

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