Indigenous Fishers Achieve Market Access with Industry Partnership
Harrison Salmon Producers (HSP) and the Upper Fraser Fisheries Conservation Alliance (UFFCA), which operates the Upper Fraser Indigenous Sustainable Harvesters Association (UFISH), its commercial fishing enterprise, partnered with Organic Ocean to gain access to high-end markets for their locally-sourced, sustainable fish products. A key element of this arrangement is a shared philosophy to promote the conservation, protection and sustainable harvest of wild salmon populations.
Seeking markets that would appreciate the quality and sustainability of its fish, HSP approached Organic Ocean, which had been created by fishers who were similarly frustrated by a supply chain that treated seafood as a high volume, low value commodity. After visiting one of HSP’s fisheries, Organic Ocean was so impressed by the quality of the salmon that it immediately sent samples it to its top chef and restaurant clients in Canada, the USA and Southeast Asia. Feedback has been consistently positive and HSP salmon is showing up on menus of the world’s finest restaurants.
Together, the partners built a relationship around a mutual commitment to provide market access to high-quality, sustainable salmon and salmon products. The partnership has been a success for all parties as sales of HSP and UFISH seafood have grown significantly and represent an increasing share of Organic Ocean’s business. Recently, with a combination of industry and government funding, the partners have re-opened the historic Paramount Cannery in B.C.’s Steveston Harbour as a seafood logistics centre.
HSP and UFISH now supply Organic Ocean with a variety of unique seafood sourced from Indigenous fisheries around B.C. In turn, Organic Ocean has provided HSP and UFISH with the mentorship and guidance required to make them competitive in the market.