Long Island firm finds oysters gateway for China Seafood Exports
[Newsday] by Victor Ocasio Sept 2, 2014
More Northeast US companies are exporting to China, even small firms that never considered it before. K&B Seafoods - a regional distributor, tells Victor Ocasio how they started exporting -
K&B Seafood Inc. co-owners Tom Kehoe and Roger Boccio, wholesalers of oysters, lobsters and other shellfish, are working hard to grow their new business exporting to China.
Since November, the principals of the East Northport business have visited China twice to establish trade with food distributors. Now the company ships a ton of oysters and other shellfish to Hong Kong every week, and China shipments make up about 10 percent to 15 percent of the company's total sales.
"Oysters opened the door for us," said Kehoe, whose orders from China now include everything from clams to Boston lobsters. Overall, foreign sales are about a quarter of the company's $7 million in annual revenue. K&B began shipping to China in December. Only six years ago the company's foreign sales were negligible.
Recently, its business in China assumed even greater importance when the company lost access to its largest customer, in Moscow, after Russia banned imports of American foods as tensions over Ukraine escalated.
K&B's growing exports to China show that Long Island companies - particularly those in the agriculture trade - have opportunities to sell to a country known for exporting goods to the United States....Full Story »