Oregon Seafoods launches sustainable tuna packs
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Oregon Seafoods introduced its Sea Fare Pacific line of sustainable tuna "sport" packs in late December.
Oregon Seafoods will show off its recently launched wild-caught tuna packs this weekend in San Francisco at the 37th annual Fancy Food Show.
The two-year-old Coos Bay-based sustainable seafood company introduced its Sea Fare Pacific line of 3-ounce sport packs of Pacific Albacore tuna and Alaskan Sockeye salmon last month. Already the Oregon-packed fish has landed in stores including Market of Choice, REI and — starting next month — New Seasons Market.
"We're not interested in processing anything that's not sustainable," said Mike Babcock, who started Oregon Seafoods in 2010 after 18 years in the timber industry.
Babcock said 90 percent of the fish Oregon Seafoods processes — about 5,000 pounds of fish per week now and headed towards a capacity of 20,000 pounds per week — is Pacific Albacore that has been certified by the Marine Stewardship Council as a sustainable fishery.
After analyzing packaging options, Oregon Seafoods chose a four-layer foil pack for the Sea Fare line.
Babcock said the elements of the packaging are recyclable but finding a facility to recycle the pouches is rare.
"But even compared to a can that gets recycled, it's still more earth-friendly," Babcock said. "It takes less energy to produce and ship the pouch."
With six employees and a just-launched product line, Oregon Seafoods had less than $100,000 in product revenue in 2011. Oregon Seafoods also provides fish packing services to other companies.
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