New Initiative Aims to Help Wholesale Dealers Find New Markets for Louisiana Seafood

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Photo of women processing and packaging shrimp at a factory

In an effort to improve the economic sustainability of the State’s seafood industry in light of COVID-19, the Louisiana Direct Seafood initiative is adding a wholesale directory to its website (LouisianaDirectSeafood.com/wholesale). Originally developed to help coastal fishermen and processors connect with consumers for fresh, wild-caught, Louisiana seafood products, the addition of wholesale businesses at this time is to give aid to all levels in the supply chain. 

“With COVID-19, traditional seafood distribution systems have been completely up-ended,” said Thomas Hymel, Louisiana Sea Grant/LSU AgCenter extension agent and director of the Louisiana Direct Seafood initiative. “Processors and wholesale dealers are not able to move products as normal, and our goal is to help them find new markets and opportunities, as well as increase consumption of Louisiana seafood.” 

The wholesale directory is just the first step in a larger campaign to promote Louisiana seafood to institutional buyers such as chefs, restaurants, specialty food markets, and independent grocery chains. Outreach methods will utilize social media platforms and other digital channels, partnerships with specialty food influencers, communication with other state agencies, and media contacts. 

There is no cost to participate, and all Louisiana wholesale dealers and processors are welcome, with two provisions: they are properly licensed as wholesale/retail dealers, and seafood sold is landed in Louisiana. 

“Louisiana Sea Grant has a long history of assisting our dealers and processors. Some efforts are very visible, like our Sanitation Control Procedures training, processor and dock workshops and videos, and H2B assistance,” said Hymel. “Other projects have been behind the scenes, like scientific research on new packaging techniques and antibiotic residue testing in support of import labeling bills. Regardless, we are committed to helping the broader seafood supply chain in Louisiana, and this new effort is just another step forward.” 

To list your business on Louisiana Direct Seafood, contact Leslie Davis at 337-212-4742 or [email protected]