Ian Jefferds – business advice from the US

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Ian Jefferds, General Manager, Penn Cove Shellfish, Washington, US

Watch Ian’s update from 5.55 mins

I’m Ian Jefferds form Penn Cove Shellfish in Washington State up in the north west part of the US. I’m a shellfish grower and I’m here today commiserating with other shellfish growers. I came to describe some of the trials and tribulations that we’ve gone through in our 40 year history of raising shellfish up in Washington State. Some of the things that have affected us have included marketing, regulations, disease, and different natural hindrances to growth. And I was sharing some of things that we have done to overcome those challenges and sharing some of the things that we’ve done in the market. Be it branding or be it education of the customer so that people, if they’re going through the same types of challenges, perhaps can learn from some of the successes we’ve had and how we achieved that success.

Some of the advice I was giving people here today with regard to the product was not putting all your eggs in one basket in the market. We’ve had some recent experience with that – a lot of guys were pushing product into China. China implemented a ban on all west coast shellfish from the US for a short while. Anybody that had all their eggs in that basket were hurting a lot. Another thing is to diversify your product line – not selling just one type of shellfish but growing, or at least distributing, several types of shellfish. And another thing that we’ve done, or forced to do, through our industry was to become vertically integrated; so raising shellfish in the hatchery level all the way through distribution. So those are the kinds of things that have given us a solid base, allowed us to grow as a company over the years and provided for our success – hopefully not only now but in the future.


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