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|Articles - October 2012|
|Monday, September 24, 2012|
Page 2 of 2Berry is firm that he has no desire to expand until he can prove that a regional model works. If it does, he would consider expanding, but instead of shipping Oregon albacore across the country, Berry would invest in a new supply chain in each region. Berry hopes to have a “Fishpeople Northeast” that would take advantage of Maine’s fresh lobster and employ a New England business to make sauces from local ingredients. “We’d keep the dollars there in the community,” says Berry. Meanwhile, the legal, financial and marketing arms of the company would remain in Oregon.
Fishpeople’s initial run of 10,000 units is small by industry standards. Finding processors on the Coast who would work with such small numbers was a challenge for Fishpeople’s head of operations, Charlie Slate. Formerly the sustainability specialist at fish-processing giant Pacific Seafood in Clackamas, Slate had lengthy conversations with processors, explaining Fishpeople’s mission to keep money, jobs and fish in Oregon, before he found the right matches. The company will be sourcing Chinook from Skipanon Brand Seafood in Warrenton; albacore from Oregon Seafoods in Coos Bay; and smoked oysters from Tillamook’s T&S Oyster Farm, which farms in Netarts Bay. Barnacle Bill’s Seafood Market in Lincoln City is smoking the salmon in the chowder.
Fishpeople is also contracting with Oregon Seafoods to use its retort packer, which owner Mike Babcock bought two years ago when he launched Sea Fare Pacific, his line of once-cooked Oregon albacore.
A relatively short supply chain — working directly with USDA-inspected processors like Oregon Seafoods and having regular conversations with them, the fishermen and the sauce kitchen — will allow Fishpeople to have a traceable product. Consumers can plug in the batch number on fishpeopleseafood.com and find out which vessel caught their fish.
Sustainability is also integral to Fishpeople’s brand. While researching the health of local fish stocks and which fishing methods trap the least amount of bycatch, Berry and his crew consulted the respected seafood ratings put out by the Blue Ocean Institute, the Marine Stewardship Council and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Ultimately, none of these provided enough nuanced information on Oregon fisheries, so they wrote their own Oregon-centric seafood ratings on seven species of fish.
Berry hasn’t always built businesses around his environmental ethics. When he ran the Apparel Source, Berry had a crisis of conscience. He had been sourcing conventional cotton when he realized that it was doused with toxic insecticides that were hazardous to workers and watersheds. On the verge of leaving the company, Berry sought advice from environmentalist Paul Hawken, author of The Ecology of Commerce. “He told me I had greater leverage making change as a captain of industry than I did as a citizen,” Berry recounts. So he began sourcing organic cotton and soon started Greensource, an organic T-shirt division that supplied Walmart and Target. Before he sold it, Greensource was one of the largest organic-cotton textile companies in the world.
The idea that business can be a force for good has stuck with Berry. With Fishpeople, he is betting that Oregonians will vote with their forks by buying a product that is in sync with their values as well as their taste buds.
Making a profit is just one of many returns Berry hopes to see. “Once we start building volume, we can start having a positive impact on coastal communities and habitats,” Berry says. “That’s the day I’ll be happy and fulfilled.”
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
BY DIANE BUISMAN
Some common misconceptions employers have about marijuana.
Friday, October 24, 2014
How does your workplace stack up against competitors? How can you improve workplace practices to help recruit and retain employees? Find out by taking our 100 Best Companies to Work for in Oregon survey!
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY AMY MILSHTEIN
Meetings get a bad rap. A few local companies make them count.
Friday, October 31, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
Why are there so few transportation startups in Portland? The city’s leadership in bike, transit and pedestrian transportation has been well-documented. But that was then — when government and nonprofits paved the way for a new, less auto centric way of life.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
BY JONATHAN FROCHTZWAJG
A flare-up in the Elliott Forest raises questions about détente in Oregon’s timber wars.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Peter Lizotte at ACME Business Solutions and Roger Busse at Pacific Continental Bank share their favorite reads.
Wednesday, October 08, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
A Design Week panel discussion raises questions about how innovative we really are.
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Is your business ready to join us in the call for action? This opening panel includes Oregon businesses who will discuss why they signed the Oregon Climate Declaration, the investments they are making to reduce carbon emissions, and how their actions are affecting their companies.
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Rotary’s Oregon Ethics in Business aims to raise consciousness about business ethics by honoring exceptional companies.
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