On the eve of Seafood Expo North America (SENA) on March 14, the Global Aquaculture Alliance hosted two half-day tours of retail outlets in the Boston, Massachusetts, area.

The tour gave SENA exhibitors from China and Vietnam the opportunity to view first hand their seafood products on display at Wegmans, Stop & Shop and BJ’s Wholesale Club.

Pictured on the left is Scott Williams, associate VP of quality assurance and environmental stewardship for BJ’s, and pictured on the right is Todd Drickel, perishable manager at Wegmans’ new Chestnut Hill store. A special thanks to both Williams and Drickel for their guided tours.

BJ's Scott & BAP Tilapia          Wegmans Todd 1

The Chinese delegation consisted of members of the China Aquatic Products Processing and Marketing Alliance (CAPPMA), led by Executive Deputy Secretary General Mr. Di Gang.

The Vietnamese delegation consisted of members of the Viet Nam Pangasius Association (VNPA), led by Chairman Dr. Nguyen Viet Thang and Secretary General Dr. Vo Hung Dung.

“The tour was a very beneficial experience. It provided a great opportunity for our members to further understand U.S. supermarket seafood merchandizing and U.S. consumers’ preferences,” said CAPPMA’s Mr. Di. “We thank GAA for the opportunity.”

“We appreciated the chance to see how product is sold in different types of U.S. retail store. Our members benefited greatly from the tour,” said VNPA.​

“This was a tremendous opportunity to view firsthand the latest retail merchandising trends with respect to branding, food safety, quality and sustainability. It was an educational experience for all of us,” added Carson Roper, international business development manager for the Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) third-party certification program.