NAIA looks to impress with organic mussels

Andrew
Andrew Robinson
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N.L. product on display at Boston seafood event

ACOA Minister Gail Shea (centre) is pictured here with Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association executive director Cyr Couturier (left) and chef Steve Watson at the 2013 International Boston Seafood Show. The show is the key seafood trade event in North America, attracting more than 19,000 buyers and sellers of fresh seafood, products, services and equipment from more than 120 countries. — Submitted photo

The Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association (NAIA) is hoping a local seafood product that was recently granted of a historic certification will attract lots of attention at the largest seafood trade event in North America.

NAIA is part of the Atlantic Canadian delegation at the 2013 International Boston Seafood Show and is looking to make a big splash with organic Newfoundland mussels. Global Trust Certification made it official last month following what NAIA called “an extensive audit process” in a news release.

“We’re launching our Canadian certified organic mussels here at the seafood show, and it’s the first for North America,” said Cyr Couturier, executive director for NAIA. “We’re the first shellfish producers to have certified organic status.”

The event got underway in Boston on Sunday, and Couturier said the product was already getting some good attention at the event.

“We’ve had some great tastings as well,” he said.

Gail Shea, minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), concurred.

“The organic mussels were really, really good,” she said. “They were done in a lovely white sauce, and I had a chat with the chef, and he gave me all the ingredients. They were excellent, and I hope they’re a great success.”

ACOA is responsible for the Atlantic Canadian delegation.

Given the product’s unique position within the North American market, Couturier says there is a lot of potential for it to sell.

“There are a variety of retail outlets and restaurants that are interested in organically produced products,” he said. “Our producers have been discussing this with those buyers. There seems to be some interest ... It is a premium product, of course, and that’s the way it’s being marketed. It is uncharted territory for organic seafood in North America. There is some organic product in North America that comes from Europe, but very little.”

Couturier added that organic seafood coming from Europe is primarily salmon.

“Seafood organic products in North America are pretty rare right now, period.”

The event in Boston has representatives from more than 120 countries, with approximately 900 companies in attendance.

“This show is an excellent opportunity for our companies to showcase their products and make valuable contact with buyers from around the globe,” said Shea.

arobinson@thetelegram.com

Twitter: @TeleAndrew

Organizations: Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, North American

Geographic location: Boston, North America, North America.NAIA Newfoundland Europe

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  • saelcove
    March 11, 2013 - 10:55

    Yep label it organic and up the price goes

  • gerry
    March 11, 2013 - 10:07

    so what exactly are 'organic' mussels?