June 07, Colombo: Taprobane Seafoods Sri Lanka and Direct Source Seafood USA have entered into a strategic partnership to produce, market and sell Sri Lankan sustainable seafood in the United States.
This partnership is set to exceed $ 20 million in annual sales in 2023, with plans to surpass $ 40 million in annual sales in 2024 and beyond.
This strategic partnership came about to meet the growing demand for eco-recommended Sri Lankan blue swimming crab and 4-star BAP certified shrimp in the US market.
Direct Source Seafood is one of the largest crab and shrimp importers in the USA. The company specialises in managing private-label shrimp and crab programs for major retail and food service companies. Having recently formed similar vertically integrated partnerships in Mexico and Norway, Direct Source Seafood continues its vertical integration by partnering with Taprobane Seafoods in Sri Lanka.
Taprobane Seafoods is the leading seafood company in Sri Lanka established in 2010. The company has 17 processing facilities, employing over 2,000 direct employees throughout the North-Western and Northern Provinces. They are committed to being a leader in sustainable and socially responsible seafood.
Taprobane Seafoods Managing Director Timothy O’Reilly emphasised the importance of partnering with companies like Direct Source Seafood who share similar values and understand the expectations that USA distributors and consumers have regarding sourcing high-quality sustainable seafood.
Direct Source Seafood President and Co-founder Ian Kennaway said: “It was an enlightening experience visiting the fishing camps and Taprobane’s processing facilities located in the former conflict areas in Northern Sri Lanka”. “It was heartwarming to hear the stories of these amazing and hardworking people who have endured and survived a 30-year conflict and we are taking this message to the consumers in the US. We are committed to promoting Sri Lankan sustainable seafood in the US market and believe it is important for the consumers to be aware that their purchases are helping drive the demand for sustainable seafood,” added Kennaway.
Both Taprobane Seafood and Direct Source Seafood actively promote sustainability, ethical sourcing, and the integration of technology in the seafood industry. Both companies take pride in their commitment to providing the freshest, safest, and highest quality frozen seafood to the market.
Present the signing of the partnership agreement were Embassy of the United States of America in Sri Lanka Deputy Chief of Mission Douglas Sonnek, Board of Investment of Sri Lanka Director General Renuka M. Weerakone, Fisheries Ministry Director General S.J. Kahawatta and National Aquaculture Development Authority of Sri Lanka Chairman Jayantha Wijeratne along with CEO/ Co- Founder Roman Tkachenko, President and Co-founder lan Kennaway, Global Procurement Director Bob Stryker and Direct Source Seafood Director of Operations in Mexico Yesica Hernandez, Chairman and Co-founder Dilan Fernando, Managing Director and Co-founder Timothy O’Reilly, Taprobane Seafoods, Sri Lanka Directors Ranjith Leon and Nathan Sivagananathan.