WHERE THE FISH COMES FROM

Inc. (USA) - - MONEY -

Pa­cific Seafood in Clacka­mas, Ore­gon

THE VOL­UME 4,500 pounds of steel­head trout per week are shipped to all lo­ca­tions.

THE CHAL­LENGE Seafood is a par­tic­u­larly big chal­lenge for any con­sci­en­tious food busi­ness: “It’s this big blue ocean that is un­reg­u­lated,” Jammet says. Sweet­green first chose farm-raised salmon from Chile, a pop­u­lar fish that re­ceived a “good al­ter­na­tive” rat­ing from Cal­i­for­nia’s Mon­terey Bay Aquar­ium, a sus­tain­abil­ity ad­vo­cate. But two years ago, as scru­tiny of the seafood in­dus­try and its ram­pant sup­ply and la­bor prob­lems mounted, Sweet­green started look­ing for a do­mes­tic source of fish.

THE SO­LU­TION Pa­cific Seafood’s farmed steel­head trout is na­tive to the Pa­cific Northwest and looks a lot like salmon; Mon­terey Bay con­sid­ers it a “best choice” for the en­vi­ron­ment (though some crit­ics cau­tion that farms use too much fish meal to be truly sus­tain­able). Sweet­green pitched the less-fa­mil­iar steel­head to cus­tomers as “salmon’s sexy, more sus­tain­able cousin.” As Jammet says, “There are all of these re­gional species that we should be eat­ing.”

THE PAY­OFF For 76-year-old Pa­cific Seafood, which also sup­plies large gro­cery chains such as Kroger, Sweet­green is a smaller but im­por­tant cus­tomer. “They have 70-some restau­rants and their growth is ag­gres­sive,” says Craig Ap­p­le­yard, who man­ages Pa­cific Seafood’s salmon and steel­head op­er­a­tions. “They’re the fu­ture—the kind of com­pany we want to work with.”

PHO­TO­GRAPH BY KYLE JOHN­SON

SWIM­MING UP­STREAM

Steel­head trout raised at one of Pa­cific Seafood’s farms, in Ne­spelem, Wash­ing­ton, are read­ied for trans­port.

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