FishWise Partners with Seafood Producers Cooperative (SPC)
FishWise is very proud to announce our new producer partnership with the Seafood Producers Cooperative (SPC) based in Bellingham, WA and Sitka, AK. SPC is North America’s oldest and most successful fishermen’s cooperative whose nearly 600 members use primarily hook & line techniques to target albacore, salmon, halibut, and sablefish. SPC albacore, salmon, halibut, and sablefish are all either Green ‘Best Choice’ by Seafood Watch and/or MSC certified.
Founded in 1944, the cooperative serves fishermen by getting the fairest price for their catch and giving them access to processing and packaging capabilities that they wouldn’t be able to have working on their own. As a cooperative, SPC is large enough to supply food service and retail establishments of all sizes but small enough to focus on quality and service.
SPC sells the majority of its products under two brands. Line-caught Alaska Gold Brandâ„¢ king salmon, coho salmon, and keta salmon can be found in domestic retailers and abroad. SPC Brandâ„¢ sashimi-grade albacore tuna and sablefish is well-known by fish buyers in Asia and domestic purveyors of sushi to be some of the highest quality fish available on the market.
The co-op has proven to be the best way to ensure that the fishermen’s products are delivered with quality from ocean to market without depending on the services of external parties. The co-op also serves to preserve a way of life that allows fishing families to stay together and fish using traditional methods.
SPC serves families of small boat fishermen and the health of coastal communities by combining two alternative business models–the small family fishing boat and the cooperative. Members’ boats are a classic American small business and the co-op gives these small businesses leverage to compete and market products worldwide. Additional benefits of co-op membership include access to affordable vessel insurance, cash pools to buy gear, and academic scholarships for members’ children.
With a democratically elected fishermen board of directors, the fishermen are in charge. This autonomy allows the fishermen to ensure that SPC products have the most direct path from boat to plate. SPC products stand out from others due to the fishermen’s relentless commitment to detail and quality starting on the boat all the way to delivering fish to customers.
SPC products come in a variety of formats including head-on, H & G, vac-pac fillets, and portions. Fresh product flies out of Sitka depending on weather conditions. Orders for wholesale volumes can be placed directly with the SPC sales team. It is important to note that SPC is not a trucking or shipping company and therefore the co-op works with a number of distributors to get large orders to market.
For direct consumer sales, SPC products are available on the Alaska Gold Brandâ„¢ website. The site also has a buying club and loyalty program for additional purchasing options with free shipping for the home consumer. Alaska Gold brand products can also be used by small restaurants and are a good option for small retailers with difficult distribution chains. Looking ahead, new products that will be added to the site include traditional smoked salmon and king salmon candy, which will come in 2.5 lb. & 5 lb. boxes.