Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
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Pro-Mer Seafood

Transcript: My name is Guy Austin, and I work at Pro-Mer. I have been in R&D ever since the company started.

At the Pro-Mer complex, we have an industrial kitchen, and our main claims to fame are the seafood sausages and fish sausages we developed, as well as the lobster cakes. We do a lot of secondary and tertiary processing, and we are working on getting into the market. This is really a new product. We are in the world of tertiary processing. We are the only ones certified in Canada to provide this kind of product.

We currently have approximately 10 to 15 people in production. However, when things were busier we had as many as 30.

The sausages are completely new. This is because we managed to make a sausage with a texture and taste that are very close to those of a standard meat sausage. Essentially we have brought the world of fish and meat together. We are sort of mixing the two because our sausages are very lean. We start with 60% of products like scallop, shrimp, salmon and trout, less than 10% of pork and then all the other ingredients, such as emulsifiers and seasonings, and our casings are all natural.

At this point, every Sobeys in the Atlantic sells our products. We also work with the Atlantic Co-Op and some fisheries in New Brunswick, and we are looking abroad. Some of our products are on shelves in the United States, specifically South Carolina and North Carolina. Some of our products are heading to Italy next month. We are prepared to sell anywhere in the world.

Last year, we were in Boston, at Boston Seafood, to see what this was all about. We came as visitors. This year, we came as exhibitors, which is a completely different experience. As exhibitors, we can get people to sample our products, and we can talk directly to potential buyers, brokers or grocery store representatives, which is completely different. Being an exhibitor opens many doors, and provides lots of potential.

From our point of view, the advantage of being part of a delegation is that we can readily see the teamwork in the group because everyone can refer to someone else depending on the needs of potential clients. And the money counts too. It lowers our costs. And given that we are right there, it gives us the opportunity to have people sample our products.

At this time, we would like to get into the market with our sausages, lobster cakes and shrimp-stuffed salmon filets, but we have also been working on several innovative products that we have been developing so that we can offer unique products in the future. We have worked with seafood salami and pepperoni and we have mackerel donair, and we can make lobster ham…the world of meat is moving to seafood and fish. There is really no end to the number of products we can make, but we have to get into the market to start.

Added: March 28, 2011