New Funding to Open New Markets

Since 2004, we’ve been helping the Northeast seafood industry, and in the last 15 years, it has realized $3 billion in actual export sales through the assistance of our programs. Read all about our new funding to open new markets.

Since 2004, we’ve been helping the Northeast seafood industry, and in the last 15 years, it has realized $3 billion in actual export sales through the assistance of our programs.

Today however, with recent punitive tariffs creating barriers to once lucrative seafood export markets in China and Europe, the Northeast seafood industry is facing some difficult challenges. As a leading industry resource for suppliers, we are ramping up our efforts to expand and open new export markets and connect suppliers to buyers. You may ask how we are going to do this? We recently applied for and received more than $20 million in federal funding from the USDA’s Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP). A significant portion of these new funds are being earmarked to support the Northeast seafood industry in a multi-year effort to build new and sustainable export growth.

A Special Focus on American Lobster

To educate seafood importers and chefs about American lobster and other Northeast U.S. seafood, trade education events have been expanded and are taking place worldwide. In the last year, events have occurred in the U.S., Poland, the Caribbean and Korea. Most recently, we were at the Taiwan International Fisheries & Seafood Show promoting lobster and capturing buyer leads for the industry. In Dubai, at our first ever in-market buyer mission, American lobster suppliers were able to meet face to face with buyers from countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar. Our last event in September was in Spain at the U.S. embassy where local chefs showcased American lobster, scallops, squid, monkfish and Jonah crab to importers, chefs and the media.

We are also actively forming partnerships with retail and restaurant outlets for promotions. Through these promotional efforts, American lobster, along with other Northeast seafood products, will be showcased in Germany, Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam and Hong Kong. Finally, we are developing new content that will be used to build awareness for American lobster in a wide range of markets.

Building Markets for Growing Seafood Products

This new multi-year funding will also allow us to create new initiatives that focus on growing international markets for seafood products, such as Jonah crab and oysters that are in ample supply and could benefit from market diversification. And the timing couldn’t be better, especially with the potential for shellfish trade channels to open between the U.S. and the EU and a growing need for more oyster export volume. A first step for us was to host our first ever inbound trade mission for the oyster industry. Foreign buyers were able to meet farmers, see the diversity of Northeast U.S. oyster production methods, gain an understanding of food safety protocols in place and taste a variety of different oysters so they have a better understanding of how place or merroir plays a role in flavor, something unique to cold water Northeast oysters. Be on the lookout for a more in-depth story on this event in the next couple of months.

To learn more about Food Export’s market development efforts, please contact Colleen Coyne at

About Food Export USA—Northeast

With its extensive programs and educational offerings, Food Export USA–Northeast (Food Export–Northeast) is recognized as the preeminent expert and cost-effective resource for Northeast seafood and agricultural suppliers looking to sell their products overseas. Founded in 1973, Food Export–Northeast is a non-profit organization that works collaboratively with its 10 member states’ agricultural promotion agencies from Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont, to facilitate trade between suppliers and worldwide importers and to promote the export of food, agricultural and seafood products from those states. Since its founding, the organization has helped Northeast seafood suppliers gain access to a broad range of export markets, supported overseas in-market educational and promotional programs and offers emerging suppliers access to funds to help grow their export business. The organization is funded through the Market Access Program (MAP), administered by the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

Learn more about us and what we do for the Northeast seafood industry hereContact us.