December 02, 2006
Shortly after taking office, Governor Murkowski started the Alaska Fisheries Revitalization Strategy. Advocating for fishermen and producers who have the supply and ability to meet the demand of large endeavors like international food aid, part of the strategy was to get the Department of Agriculture to buy Alaska canned Salmon.
For the last two years, Alaska has aggressively marketed its canned salmon to the Department of Agriculture, and promoted the "Wild Alaska Salmon" brand for other kinds of Salmon, including international food aid programs, as a healthy, long-lasting food product. It represents the only solid animal protein in the program.
Governor Murkowski said this
purchase is a win for the Alaska salmon industry and for those
who receive Alaska's fish. "The industry will benefit because
we think this is just a first step to larger commitments from
Commerce Commissioner Bill Noll said "I'm very proud of our work, because it's a market the industry would not have had without our direct involvement."
Bruce Schactler is directing the effort for Alaska and said the state is in the process of demonstrating Alaska canned salmon in school feeding programs and hands on demonstration projects in parts of Asia, Central and South America and Africa.
"Our demonstrations have shown the world food aid community that Alaska canned salmon can be used in a variety of Food Aid situations," said Schactler. "Because of the unique health benefits and large variety of uses across diverse cultures, Alaska canned salmon has been so well received that we have begun to realize these impressive results much sooner that expected. The addition of canned Keta salmon will help the industry's ability to sustain the demand for canned salmon in international food aid, as well as allowing fishermen and processors all across Alaska to utilize a larger portion of the Alaska salmon harvest potential."
Nina P. Schlossman, Ph.D., is a Nutritionist and President of Global Food & Nutrition Inc., who has worked in the food aid industry for 20 years. She was hired to help break into this new market.
"It is very hard to get a new product introduced in international food aid. Alaska salmon provides high quality nutrition and, coupled with the additional health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, is an excellent food for all people, especially those with weakened immune systems," said Schlossman. "We are working with food aid partners around the world to integrate Alaska canned salmon into the food aid basket and enhance the diets of their program participants."
The U.S. government provides
agricultural commodities worth more than one billion dollars
to 106 such private voluntary organizations for food aid recipients
in 75 countries.
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