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Seafood

Indoor Aquaponics Farm Opens for Business in Minnesota

Urban Organics, a large-scale indoor aquaponics farm located in the historic Hamm’s Brewery building in East St. Paul, Minn. is now open for business. Urban Organics will offer immediate access to fresh, delicious and healthy foods for the Twin Cities community. Its first crops — hyperlocal, organic fresh greens — are on shelves at select Lunds and Byerly’s stores.

Aquaponics is the combined culture of fish and hydroponic vegetable crops in a closed-loop, recirculating aquaculture system (RAS). In aquaponics, fish provide the nutrients that plants need to grow, and the plants act as a filter to improve the water quality for the fish. Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems, Inc. and its team of experts including engineers, horticulturists and biologists worked with Urban Organics to design, install and engineer the world-class system—one of the largest and most advanced aquaponics facilities in the nation.

“Our mission is to inspire a food system for the people, by the people,” says Fred Haberman, co-founder and CEO of Haberman and co-founder and partner in Urban Organics. “We are starting with a community-rooted, self-sustaining aquaponics facility in an area in need of economic revival — East St. Paul.  But this is a test for a movement that can be scaled nationally and internationally. This level of aquaponics could change the world of farming as we know it.”

At Urban Organics, kale, Swiss chard, Italian parsley and cilantro are the first crops, and tilapia will follow in mid-summer.  These fresh, organic local greens don’t depend on the weather or growing seasons and will be available year-round. The produce will be in stores within a day of when it is harvested — the freshest, most local produce available at grocery stores.

“The world’s population — and more specifically the middle class population — is growing, and with it, the demand for fish protein is quickly surpassing sustainable natural fish production. Aquaponics has the potential to help meet the demand, while reducing pressure on fish populations in the wild,” says Randall J. Hogan, Chairman and CEO of Pentair. “Our expertise in water systems and solutions allows us to re-imagine fish farming in a sustainable way that provides a real commercial option to help solve this growing food dilemma, and potentially support urban growth and renewal.”

“This remarkable transformation from stockhouse to aquaponics farm is a true testament to how these old brewery buildings can be revitalized,” says Chris Coleman, Mayor of St. Paul, Minn. “The innovation and passion of the Urban Organics team is inspiring, and I’m proud to welcome them to Saint Paul.”

Urban Organics is an indoor aquaponics facility providing hyperlocal, sustainable, year-round fish and greens to the Twin Cities. To learn more, visit urbanorganics.com and facebook/uo.saintpaul.

2014 Seafood Excellence Awards Finalists Announced

The Seafood Excellence Awards, a new products competition held in conjunction with Seafood Expo North America, formerly the International Boston Seafood Show, has announced this year’s finalists.

The Seafood Excellence Awards are an extension of the Seafood Prix d’Elite new product competition at the Seafood Expo Global in Brussels, Belgium.

Finalists compete for two awards: Best New Foodservice Product and Best New Retail Product. Products are evaluated on criteria including uniqueness, taste profile, packaging, marketing potential, and nutritional value.

This year’s ten finalists were hand-selected from more than 70 entries in the highly-competitive New Product Showcase, which will be featured at the Seafood Expo North America, held March 16-18, 2014.

The finalists for the 2014 Seafood Excellence Awards are:

Phillips / SeaWings, Booth #1019
Cornetfish

The Santa Barbara Smokehouse, Booth #2310
Cambridge House Private Reserve Smoked Salmon with Truffle

Aqua Star, Booth# 2005
Harvest Grain Wild Alaskan Cod

Uoriki Fresh, Inc., Booth #1057
Sushi At Home®

High Liner Foods, Booth# 1005
Flame-Seared Guinness® Barbecue Glazed Atlantic Salmon

Freskot USA/Kontoveros SA, Booth #2716
Freskot Seafood Burgers

King & Prince Seafood, Booth #505
Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Shrimp

The MacKnight Food Group, Booth #2459
MacKnight Capt. Jim’s Breakfast Sausage

Handy International Incorporated, Booth #823
Fiesta Chipotle Fish Cakes

Gradient Aquaculture Ltd., Booth #2546
Pasta del MAR

The winners will be announced at the Seafood Excellence Awards ceremony in the Demonstration Theater in the Exhibit Hall, Booth 2567 on Sunday, March 16 at 3:30 p.m.

View all of the entries or register for Seafood Expo North America by visiting www.seafoodexpo.com/north-america.

Smoked Nova Slices from Benz’s

Benz’s has added a new product to its gourmet line — Smoked Nova Slices!

Benz LOX GROUP 4

Available in 3-ounce, 6-ounce, 12-ounce, and three-pound trays. Kosher and kosher for Passover in season.

Distributed by Benz’s Food Products Inc. Brooklyn, N.Y.

For more information, call 718.778.3329 or email info@benzsfish.com

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