Success Stories

Each year, hundreds of U.S. suppliers participate in Food Export-Midwest and Food Export-Northeast’s programs.  As a result, companies are successful at generating new export sales, establishing new distributorships, expanding their production facilities, and hiring additional employees.  Read these success stories to learn more.

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Maine Lobster Company Increases Exports Through Participation in Food Exports Programs

by Food Export | Apr 18, 2017
Ready Seafood, located in Portland, Maine, was founded by two brothers John and Brendan Ready in 2004. It all started with the brothers deciding to join efforts in leasing a small warehouse space on Portland’s commercial waterfront, versus paying rent for an apartment. They choose to live and work at the warehouse, while growing their business of buying and selling fresh and frozen Maine Lobster.

Since then, Ready Seafood has moved into a larger facility, also on Portland’s commercial waterfront, and has created jobs for over 100 people. The company features an expert shipping and receiving department, full sized administrative department, sales team as well as an in-house marine biologist, whose primary responsibility is ensuring sustainability of the resources for generations to come.  With the help of Food Export Programs, the company has also successfully entered foreign export markets, becoming a multi-million-dollar international lobster enterprise and shipping 15 millions of pounds of live and processed lobster annually all over the world.  “It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years since we were sleeping on those bunk beds on Hobson’s Pier,” Brendan Ready said. “It’s been 10 exciting years for John and I.”John and Brendan Ready

Over the past five years Ready Seafood participated in several different activities provided by Food Export Northeast and Midwest, such as Seafood Buyer’s Mission, Food Show Plus and Focused Trade Missions. New relationships and connections gained through these programs led to an average of 39% boost in exports during company’s five-year period of engagement in Food Export activities. Today, the international market accounts for over 70% of the company’s business. In 2015 it was also named Maine’s Exporter of the Year by the Maine International Trade Center in its International Trade and Investment Awards.

Food Export uses funding from the Market Access Program (MAP) to help America’s small businesses increase their exports of food and agricultural products; as these exports increase, these small businesses are creating jobs and improving the strength and stability of our agricultural economy. Food Export-Midwest and Food Export-Northeast are non-profit organizations that work in collaboration with their member state departments of agriculture and the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. They offer a wide range of programs and services that help boost America’s agricultural exports.

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