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Louisiana seafood harvesters hear export pitch

Last Modified: Thursday, July 25, 2013 11:49 AM

ABBEVILLE (AP) — A Lafayette seafood restaurant owner and an experienced exporter have urged fishermen to look beyond U.S. borders for more business.

The Advocate reports ( ) Joseph Kanode, with New Orleans Cold Storage, told about 15 seafood harvesters in Abbeville Wednesday that Louisiana seafood has a story to tell.

Kanode's company has four deep-freeze facilities in the U.S., including two in New Orleans, that prepare raw and prepared food for long voyages to distant markets.

Kanode said his company ships a lot of food, mostly poultry, to markets in Russia and Mexico. He said his company sees a growing international market for Louisiana seafood harvesters.

Frank Randol, a Lafayette restaurateur who sits on the 13-member Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board, said international trade shows are a good way to break into a new market. He noted that the costs of attending the shows are partially subsidized by organizations such as the Southern U.S. Trade Association.

Randol said U.S. business people, including seafood exporters, need to become more tech savvy. Consumers in other parts of the world, especially in Asia, practically live on smart phones with apps that carry out tasks such as translating languages and, with one swipe, pulling up a restaurant menu that instantly reacts to changes in price and offerings.

"The key is to get better at what you do," Randol said. "Cast a broad net and look for pockets of opportunity. . We make the best products in the world. We should be leading the bandwagon."

That opportunity could come in a variety of ways, such as recognizing when the market turns in your favor by placing a value on seafood that used to be worthless, Randol said, such as freshwater carp caught near Pierre Part that the Chinese find delicious but which has few fans in the U.S.

"Ask yourself, what do I discard that has a value," Randol said.

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