New Jersey seafood is popular on the East Coast, and it’s also being enjoyed around the world. In addition to the exceptional seafood available in the region and the hardworking fishermen who harvest it, one organization has helped ensure New Jersey seafood products are available everywhere from Europe to Asia to South America.
Food Export USA-Northeast is a nonprofit organization founded in 1973 that promotes the export of food and agricultural products from the northeast region of the U.S.
“Food Export-Northeast has a variety of programs for everyone, from beginning to experienced exporters,” says Logan Brown, food export specialist with the New Jersey Department of Agriculture. “It really can help people see if the foreign markets are right for them, and also provides support once companies do enter the market.”
The organization is one of four State and Regional Trade Groups in the country and is funded by participating state departments of agriculture as well as the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service.
Jeff Reichle, president of Lund’s Fisheries in Cape May, says working with Food Export- Northeast has been vital to getting his product (raw fish and squid) into overseas markets.
“Export is a big part of our business – it makes up 40 to 60 percent of our overall annual volume,” Reichle says. “Exporting would be difficult, if not impossible, for us to do by ourselves. The professionalism of the program pays dividends to anyone who uses it.”
Other companies have benefited from working with Food Export- Northeast as well, including Cape May’s Atlantic Cape Fisheries, which added $22,000 to its bottom line in a single event.
Reichle says Food Export- Northeast provides buyer portfolios, helps arrange meetings and export trade shows, provides translation services, and gives Lund’s insight into different countries’ economies and business practices.
Lund’s exports its products, including mackerel, butterfish, scallops, bluefish and two species of squid to Europe, Africa, China, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, South America, Australia and New Zealand.
“We are really selling around the world, and a lot of those contacts were made at trade shows that Food Export-Northeast has helped us participate in,” Reichle says.
Brown says Food Export- Northeast has excellent customer service and great online resources, as well as a helpline and seminars.