RICHMOND, BC – The KUTERRA farm, the first land-based commercial Atlantic salmon farm in North America, marks Earth Day by bringing to market Canada's first Atlantic salmon raised on land.
KUTERRA LP, owned by the 'Namgis First Nation, was founded to offer a sustainable alternative to conventionally farmed salmon.
"The effects of conventional farming on the marine environment are very real to us," says 'Namgis Chief Bill Cranmer. "This enterprise shows the way forward for the industry. It also fits with our economic plans and with our history as a fishing and trading people."
KUTERRA sustainable Atlantic salmon is being marketed by Albion Fisheries, Ltd.
"Albion is an industry leader in sustainability," says Albion CEO John Milobar. "KUTERRA Atlantic salmon takes seafood sustainability to a new level, and – thanks to growing market demand and exceptional quality fish – KUTERRA shows all the signs of becoming a commercial success."
The first harvest of KUTERRA salmon is being sold through Safeway stores across British Columbia and Alberta.
"We are honoured that Safeway stores will offer the first KUTERRA salmon to consumers in Canada," says Chuck Mulvenna, President of Operations, Safeway, Sobeys Inc. "Today’s announcement is a key step toward our company’s commitment to source all fresh and frozen seafood from sustainable sources. This important partnership with Albion Fisheries allows us to provide another sustainable option for our customers in 140 Safeway seafood departments in Western Canada”
With the start of retail sales, KUTERRA LP is a step closer to achieving its three goals.
"We want to dispel myths about land-based salmon aquaculture, we want to make a healthy profit, and we want to be a model of sustainable business and job creation," says KUTERRA CEO Garry Ullstrom. "Our success will help catalyze the evolution of the industry, and meet the growing demand for high-quality, sustainable seafood."
Jo Mrozewski, KUTERRA Communications c 250-974-3599 o 250-974-9913
Guy Dean, Albion Fisheries, Vice President–Import/Export c 604-454-8857 o 604-295-2025
Renée Hopfner, Director, Corporate Social Responsibility, Safeway Operations, Sobeys Inc. o 403-730-3511
Kuterra Limited Partnership is 100-percent owned by the 'Namgis First Nation. It was founded three years ago to grow Atlantic salmon on land commercially using a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS). Kuterra has three core goals: a) bust myths – to dispel misconceptions about land-based salmon aquaculture, b) make a good profit – to attract investment and accelerate the shift of Atlantic salmon aquaculture to land, and c) promote sustainability and growth – to create long-term jobs and business opportunities that are consistent with 'Namgis values of protecting land and water. Kuterra has partnered with the SOS Marine Conservation Foundation to work toward these goals. Tides Canada is a project advisor and lead funder. The Kuterra facility currently has a staff of four, and consists of one commercial-scale module. Ultimately the facility will consist of five modules and ancillary units such as aquaponics and other waste utilization operations.
'NAMGIS FIRST NATION
The 'Namgis First Nation comprises more than 1700 members, roughly half of whom live on Cormorant Island (Alert Bay) in British Columbia. 'Namgis core territory lies on northern Vancouver Island and nearby islands, centred on the Nimpkish Valley and related watersheds. The 'Namgis First Nation government manages an annual budget of $17 million. It administers health, education, social and community services to its members, owns and operates four business ventures, and has equity partnerships in another three ventures. All 'Namgis activities and partnerships are governed by respect for the environment, culture, sound management, self-sufficiency and sustainable prosperity for all its members.
Proudly Canadian, with headquarters in Stellarton, Nova Scotia, Sobeys has been serving the food shopping needs of Canadians for 106 years. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Empire Company Limited (TSX:EMP.A), Sobeys owns or franchises more than 1,500 stores in all 10 provinces under retail banners that include Sobeys, Safeway, IGA, Foodland, FreshCo, Thrifty Foods, and Lawton’s Drug Stores as well as more than 330 retail fuel locations. Sobeys and its franchise affiliates employ more than 124,000 people. The company’s goal is to be widely recognized as the best food retailer and workplace environment in Canada. Sobeys Inc. operates 205 stores under the Safeway banner across Western Canada.
ALBION FISHERIES LTD.
If you’ve dined at virtually any high profile restaurant in Western Canada, shopped for seafood at supermarkets in B.C. or Alberta or visited the bustling fish markets in Vancouver and Victoria, then you’ve likely enjoyed products from the largest seafood distributor in Western Canada – Albion Fisheries Ltd. Established in 1963 and celebrating our 50th anniversary, Albion Fisheries Ltd is a GFS Canada Company. Albion employs over 250 people in Richmond, Victoria, Calgary and Haida Gwaii and has a glowbal customer base of over 2,000. As the Vancouver Aquarium “Ocean Wise” Program Founding Supplier Partner as well as affiliations with numerous NGO ranking and certifying bodies, Albion is committed to supplying and sourcing sustainable products for our premium marketplace. At Albion Fisheries we recognize our role in helping ensure an eco-friendly, sustainable future. We are committed to being a proactive leader that is well positioned to supply sustainable seafood products while reducing our overall environmental impact and contributing positively to the social and ethical well being of the communities we live, work and interact in.