CST: 30/05/2016 11:16:18   

First US Live Lobster Traceability Program Launches at Whole Foods Market's Portland, Maine Location and Adds Three New Members

85 Days ago

System Lets Consumers Follow the Journey of Their Lobster From Boat to Plate

BOSTON, MA --(Marketwired - March 05, 2016) - Trace My Lobster (http://tracemylobster.com), the first and only U.S. company to build a technology platform to trace a live lobster from its origins in the ocean to its destination on your plate, has added three new members to its growing list of participants: Maine Coast, Maine Fresh, and Calendar Islands. Over 60 lobstermen, three lobster wharves, three lobster dealers, and one national grocery chain now participate in the program that utilizes internet and smartphone technology to improve seafood traceability in the lobster fishery.

Since the program was launched at the Portland, Maine Whole Foods Market location two years ago, Trace My Lobster has been using uniquely coded tags, attached to every lobster caught by a participating lobsterman, to record when and where the lobster was caught, as well as the lobsterman who caught it. By entering the tag's code online or using a smartphone app, consumers can follow the timeline of an individual lobster's journey through the supply chain, verifying its source, freshness and story behind the lobsterman who caught it.

"As a leader in seafood sustainability and traceability initiatives, Whole Foods Market is pleased that our Portland, Maine location is the first grocery store in the U.S. to offer live lobster traceability from the lobster trap to the table using Trace My Lobster," said Matt Mello, the North Atlantic Seafood Coordinator for Whole Foods Market. "Trace My Lobster is a meaningful way to showcase some of Maine's hardest working lobstermen while providing full transparency to our customers."

Trace My Lobster presents a new way for the lobster industry to meet the growing demand for seafood that is sustainably sourced, responsibly harvested, and reliably traced. In connecting lobstermen with retailers, the program provides participating grocery stores and restaurants the opportunity to distinguish themselves from their competitors by offering consumers complete transparency and fully traceable seafood. "The technology still relies on the traditional, and very important, supply chain between harvesters, wharfs dealers and distributors to bring the tagged lobster to market" stated Craig Rief, Founder of Trace My Lobster.

"Trace My Lobster is a unique and innovative program that allows us to convey the story behind the important connection we have with lobstermen and the high quality lobster our company is able to provide to our domestic and international customers," said Tom Adams, CEO of Maine Coast, one of the newest participants in Trace My Lobster.

Trace My Lobster was developed in 2014 as a collaboration between Craig Rief and Jonathan Caron. Craig has over 10 years of experience in the lobster industry and currently serves as the President of the Maine Certified Sustainable Lobster Association, which represents some of the largest lobster companies in the U.S. and Canada. Jonathan has over 20 years of experience in technology and intellectual property through his previous employment at Vivendi Universal.

Joining Trace My Lobster is fast and easy for retailers. Grocery stores and restaurants can use their existing suppliers or Trace My Lobster can provide access to a list of participating suppliers. The same holds true for harvesters, wharfs and dealers that want to join.

"As an industry we have such a powerful story to tell, and believe that the Trace My Lobster program is a valuable and exciting innovation to help connect consumers with our narrative." said Matt Jacobson, Executive Director of the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative. "Our mission is to encourage both chefs and consumers to make it Maine when choosing what product to consume, and with this program we can deliver the rich stories of our lobstermen who are committed to sustainably harvesting the best lobster on earth." 

About Trace My Lobster (http://tracemylobster.com)

Trace My Lobster enables consumers to follow the journey of their live lobster from trap to table. Trace My Lobster visualizes a lobster's true supply chain, connecting harvesters and consumers to a deeper understanding of the impact of lobster life-cycle from the ocean to the retailer. Trace My Lobster provides a comprehensive approach to supply chain transparency - a leading approach to traceable lobster and seafood traceability.

About Maine Coast (http://mainecoastcompany.com)

Maine Coast is a worldwide distributor of the finest North Atlantic seafood, specializing in shipping Maine and Canadian lobsters to both domestic and overseas locations. Maine Coast has more than 30 years of experience in the global seafood industry.

About Maine Fresh (http://maine-fresh.com)

Maine Fresh operates a lobster wharf in Harpswell, Maine and employs an innovative business model that uses natural foods from Maine and responsibly harvested seafood to produce value-added, healthy, good tasting foods in an effort to distribute a portion of its sale proceeds back to the community. Maine Fresh donates 10 percent of its online sales back to the community to support educational initiatives creating social change through transformative educational opportunities at the local and global levels.

About Calendar Islands (http://calendarislandsmainelobster.com)

Founded in 2009 Calendar Islands Maine Lobster Company is owned by 38 hard-working Maine lobstermen creating a true marriage of culinary distinction to the Maine Lobster fishery. With a goal making lobster available year-round, Calendar Islands is an industry leader in quality, value and new culinary concepts. No longer just a seasonal product, Calendar Islands value added Maine Lobster provides consumers an exciting variety of fresh and frozen products to energize and motivate the customer base. Calendar Islands supports the local community's maritime heritage, respects the environment and its inherent link to the natural world.

About Whole Foods Market ® (http://wholefoodsmarket.com)

Founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market (wholefoodsmarket.com) (NASDAQ: WFM), is the leading natural and organic food retailer. As America's first national certified organic grocer, Whole Foods Market was named "America's Healthiest Grocery Store" by Health magazine. The company's motto, "Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet"™ captures its mission to ensure customer satisfaction and health, Team Member excellence and happiness, enhanced shareholder value, community support and environmental improvement. Thanks to the company's more than 88,000 team members, Whole Foods Market has been ranked as one of the "100 Best Companies to Work For" in America by FORTUNE magazine for 18 consecutive years. In fiscal year 2014, the company had sales of more than $14 billion and currently has more than 430 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. For more company news and information, please visit media.wfm.com.

About the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative (http://www.lobsterfrommaine.com/)

The Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative (MLMC), founded in 2013, is funded by Maine Lobster harvesters, dealers and processors to grow demand, both for whole live lobster and a variety of value-added products. The MLMC supports that objective by promoting the core values of the Maine Lobster industry, which are sustainability and traceability that's deeply rooted in tradition. Maine Lobster achieved the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification in 2013, allowing Maine Lobster to certify its long-standing sustainable practices. The industry has been self-regulating for more than 150 years.

Trace Seafood, LLC, the parent company of Trace My Lobster (http://tracemylobster.com), will be at this year's Seafood Expo North America, at Booth 178.

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Contact
Craig Rief
603-396-2273