No matter how cliché it may seem, the opening of a new calendar year has a way of making everyone reflect and consider what’s to come. At North Atlantic and Bali Seafood, it’s no different; the achievements and struggles of the past year are behind us, and we are looking forward to what 2018 has in store. A look ahead at some of the best highlights coming up in 2018, with a focus on the first quarter:
Our official plant opening!
Our plant manager addressing the crowd
While our first of four planned Fishery Community Centers has been up and running for a few months now, we had an impromptu celebration of the opening on January 4. Our plant manager, Sidik, threw a surprise cookout for the local community and took a moment to address everyone there. He spoke to our collective optimism and excitement for the continuation and future of our work in Sumbawa, and we certainly shared in his joy. The Community Center has been years in the making and being able to celebrate it with the community was the best way we could think of to start off the new year.
February Sumbawa Ceremony
In February, we will be building on the celebration above and hosting a ceremony for the Sumbawa plant opening. We’ll have the honor of sharing with nearly 50 guests the new facilities and the community we’ve been working with for years (see a glimpse of the processing lines in the photos below).
One of the attendees will be our non-profit partner FishWise. Since partnering with FishWise in March of 2017, we have been working together to increase transparency and highlight our efforts in Indonesia; bringing their team to the plant will help inform several partnership work streams as we move ahead. Be on the lookout for stories from this event!
Seafood Expo North America (SENA)
One of the most important events of the year for anyone involved in seafood is Seafood Expo North America, held annually during March in Boston, Massachusetts. This is one of the world’s largest seafood conventions and a great chance for suppliers, retailers, NGOs, and others to meet, network, and address some of the biggest events and issues happening in the world of seafood today.
North Atlantic is especially looking forward to the panels about the progress of Southeast Asian tuna fisheries and industry engagement in FIPs, as well as the meetings of key Supply Chain Roundtables we are a part of. Perhaps most excitingly, Boston’s gathering always offers the chance to bring the global stakeholders of our fishery improvement projects together to discuss progress to date and work plans moving forward. We hope, through these various venues, to have an opportunity to share early reports of our own experiences with our newly opened Fishery Community Center and show, with a working example, how private-sector driven market access can enable change on the water.
Further, updates from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration about the newly implemented Seafood Import Monitoring Program and other fishery management developments at the federal level are always enlightening for what’s happening closer to home. These help create a clearer picture of how changing policies could affect our efforts in New England groundfish fisheries.
The Expo is always a whirlwind, and by the end of the three days we’re inevitably exhausted but invigorated by what we’ve seen and heard. Check back in March for a more in-depth look at this year’s show.
While that’s certainly not everything to come in the first quarter of this new year, we wanted to highlight some items at the top of our agendas. We look forward to what the next quarter–and year–will bring!