September couldn’t have started off on a better note for Verlasso. For the first time in our short history, we were able to dip our fins in a market outside of the United States – precisely in one of the largest markets for Atlantic Salmon, Brazil!
To give you a little background on sustainable seafood in Brazil, read on. Our business partner Seafood Watch has been working diligently with Brazilian university, Unimonte, for approximately 3 years to build trusted sustainability standards for farmed seafood. Though their efforts continue, Brazil has yet to adopt these standards. However, they haven’t gone ignored. Local fisheries, celebrity chefs, retailers, food service companies, and all major Brazilian NGOs working in ocean conservation (as well as government entities) are all in support of Brazil moving toward offering sustainable seafood within its communities. This incredible support system in the country has allowed Seafood Watch and Unimonte University to create “Brazilian Alliance for Sustainable Seafood Farming” (BASS) which advocates for sustainable seafood consumption in Brazil. Some of you may not be aware that Brazil is a huge seafood consumer and one of the top consumers of farmed Chilean salmon. However, at this time all commodity salmon coming out of Chile is rated “avoid” by Seafood Watch. This is where Verlasso can help!
Now that you have the rundown, here are the juicy details about the recent trip! Seafood Watch and Verlasso were invited by the alliance to attend their 3rd annual fisheries and aquaculture seminar: “Seeking Sustainable Solutions.” This seminar took place at the Unimonte University, in the beautiful port of Santos. Verlasso had the honor of sitting in as a panelist with other industry leaders such as ASC, Oceana, JBS, and Alaska Seafood, to discuss the importance of getting the country to consider more sustainable solutions.
At the conclusion of this insightful seminar, all participants were then invited to attend a party and feast featuring delicious sustainable seafood bites prepared by Brazil’s finest chefs. The setting of the Santos Fishing Museum (Museu de la Pesca) was just as beautiful as the dishes these talented chefs were serving. We had the pleasure of working with renowned Chef Felipe Cruz, head chef at La Marina Restaurant. Chef Cruz served a stunning dish - steamed Verlasso salmon which was nestled in a passion fruit coconut sauce, topped with a beautiful coriander emulsion and sprinkled with crispy Verlasso salmon skin and seaweed. The dish was served in a beautiful Pariparoba leaf and offered Verlasso the chance to express its love for sustainable aquaculture and for Brazil.
Although Verlasso’s introduction is not guaranteed in the Brazilian market, we felt extremely proud to be part of this incredibly important sustainability conversation with our partner Seafood Watch. We hope it is the first of many, as our ultimate goal isn’t to get Verlasso into every market known to man, but rather that chefs, consumers and retailers worldwide recognize the important role sustainable aquaculture plays in our oceans and feeding the future.
A special thank you goes out to Seafood Watch and Unimonte Universit, for inviting us to be part of the sustainable seafood movement in Brazil. Taking action is the only way to make a difference and we hope to be part of this discussion for many more years to come!