Coorong Wild Seafood Sustainable Stories
Sustainable Stories No 1. Coorong Wild Seafood
At Fish & Co we are dedicated to sustainability not only for seafood but also in business. We thought it would be interesting to share a little background on our sustainable partners so you could get to know a little more about the people and their businesses that makes it all possible for us to deliver our delicious sustainable experience here at Fish & Co.
We would love to hear what you think or on ways we can improve on connecting sustainable stories?
Your Name Tracy Hill
Where do you live?
Meningie, South Australia. Meningie is situated on Lake Albert which is one of the freshwater lakes at the end of the Murray River system. It is not far from the Coorong, a salt water lagoon behind a peninsula of sand hills, near the Murray Mouth.
Tell us a bit about yourself:
We operate Coorong Wild Seafood , a seafood procesAt Fish & Cosing business which was started from humble beginnings in 1991.
Previously a dairy sharefarmer, Glen purchased a Lakes and Coorong Fishing license and commenced fishing. He was soon convinced the best way to get a consistent return for his seafood was to process the fish himself. Business grew quickly and within a few months he had to employ staff to keep up demand.
I worked in the business part time after hours from my day job, but it became obvious after a while I was needed in the processing shed full time. I resigned from the bank and Glen and I married in 1996. Since then we built a larger factory and purchased another fishing license to meet the demand for our sustainable, quality seafood product.
Tell us about your business:
As the business is located near the Coorong where the Lakes and Coorong commercial fishery operate, the seafood supply chain is very short and maximises the quality of the fish brought to the premises.
What are your longer term goals for the business?
To develop other value added products from the fish we catch and to build a Coorong Wild Seafood Centre in Meningie. We can cater for groups and tours, have a shop front and a commercial kitchen to do the value adding.
Who are your customers?
Restaurants, seafood shops, butchers and supermarkets in South Australia and interstate.
We have distributors in Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth who supply to their customers
We also have a farmers market stall in Adelaide and we sell direct to the public from the factory door.
What does ʻsustainabilityʼ mean to your business?
It means operating in a way that treats the environment with respect and harvests the fish in an ethical and responsible manner.
We also have policies in place such as purchasing energy efficient equipment, waste reduction and recycling. We utilise the whole fish, with the heads and frames being frozen and sold for bait. We have solar power on our house and capture our rainwater for use in the processing shed.
Importantly the Fishery has Marine stewardship Council certification as a sustainable fishery for 4 key commercial species. For a small community fishery to have achieved this is remarkable and it is currently going through full reassessment. It was the first fishery in South Australia to be certified, in 2008, and was only the third in Australia and 27th in the world. Now there are hundreds of fisheries that have the MSC standard worldwide.
We believe that we are responsible stewards of the shared resource, but having the worlds highest sustainable tick of approval endorses that.
What is your businesses biggest achievement?
We have won several awards for our business including SA Leading Seafood Producer 2009, SA Seafood Business Award 2011 and Advantage SA Small Business Award, Murray lands Region 2011.
But we feel our biggest achievement has been: To still being able to fish, in an industry when many of our fellow fishers around the country have been shut down or had their viability removed from them for political reasons. To belong to a fishery that has survived the longest drought in living memory. For Glen to undertake a vocation in which he had no experience, family background or local knowledge. To have started a business from scratch with no background or experience in the seafood industry. To be supplying fish to some of the top restaurants in the country as well as our loyal local customer base. It cant get much better than that.
If you could chose, what would be your last meal and with who (dead or alive)?
My family: Glen, my daughters, granddaughter, mother and sisters. On my fiftieth birthday, we dined at the Appellation in the Barossa Valley. I had a personalised degustation menu with matching wines. It was one of the best nights of my life and I would like to do something similar again.
Your Website http://coorongwildseafood.com.au