American Seafoods Names Corporate Food Industry Exec Mikel Durham CEO; Bodal to Stay on as Chairman
The Board of Directors for American Seafoods Group named Mikel Durham the next CEO of the company, she will replace current CEO Bernt Bodal on January 16. Bodal, who has served as American’s CEO since 2000, will continue as Chairman of the company. Durham is a veteran of the corporate food industry. She is an independent Board member of Tyson Foods and has previously worked for PepsiCo, Burger King, Cadbury Schweppes, Guinness Venture Markets, CSM Bakery Solutions and Yum! Brands. “American Seafoods is a leader in supplying high-quality, sustainably harvested, and healthy wild-caught seafood products throughout the world,” said Durham. “I’m excited for the opportunity to work with this dynamic organization to further realize its growth objectives.”
Sales of high-end imported seafood including items such as lobster, king crab, salmon, Dungeness crabs and Argentinean shrimp appear to be surging in China prior to the Chinese New Year on January 28th. For lobsters, unlike 2016 when New Year's sales were barely over the prior year, all indications are that sales are up substantially. Many Chinese companies have started their promotion activities on e-commerce platforms, which have emerged as key sales and distribution channel for fresh seafood to Chinese consumers.
In other news, The Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) has signed a cooperative agreement with the China Aquatic Products Processing and Marketing Alliance (CAPPMA) to open an office in Shanghai. Jane Bi, the GAA’s Asia business development director, will relocate to China to run the office. The GAA said the partnership represents the next step in its efforts to advance responsible aquaculture in China through the Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification program. "My job is to assist both the marketplace and industry with the resources and information that they require to advance that mission. Being from China, I cannot feel more excited and honored to be leading our efforts there,” said Bi.
Meanwhile, the last remaining commercial Dungeness crab fishery closure area on the California coast, between Ten Mile River and Shelter Cove, will open on Jan. 16. Following this opening, areas in all three states -- Washington, Oregon and California -- have domoic acid test results below the action level and are open to fishing. However, the season has not progressed cleanly, with live export problems to China and a fishermen's strike that lasted more than a week.
Finally, Urner Barry is bringing back its popular Seafood Import Workshop series (SIW). The first edition of the re-launch will be held on February 28, 2017 at Urner Barry’s news headquarters in Toms River, New Jersey. This February’s workshop will feature an expert panel of speakers including Scott Zimmerman, founder and CEO of Safe Quality Seafood Associates; Jarrod Goldfeder, Jon Freed and Corey Norton of Trade Pacific Law PLLC; Michael Lieberman of Foa & Son and Jonathan Lieberman of New York Customs Brokers.
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