Like many other businesses, COVID-19 brought enormous challenges to aquaculture producers who sold most of their product to restaurants and restaurant suppliers. In response to this, VIMS Marine Advisory Program (VMAP) with funding through Virginia Sea Grant, established the AquaCultured project to assist aquaculture producers in establishing direct marketing and sales to consumers for consumption at home.
During the first year of AquaCultured, the project provided growers with e-commerce education to build capacity for growers to sell online, as well as a direct marketing campaign to promote aquaculture products with consumers. The direct marketing campaign included:
Over the next two years, AquaCultured will work closely with growers to foster more direct connections between the seafood growers and their food and beverage counterparts. During this time, we will expand an online platform to support grower education and marketing.
Next steps include virtual meet-up with aquaculture producers and food and beverage producers so they can plan and conduct their own special events, and trainings for aquaculture producers on listing their products in a newly launched seafood locator app.
AquaCultured is a program presented by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and Virginia Sea Grant that celebrates the harvest of Virginia shellfish farmers by helping find ways to get their catch to your table! The best way we can do all of that is by CONNECTING with all of you! Explore the following ways to get in touch with us below!
Are you a seafood grower with an upcoming event? Perhaps you’re a winery or a brewery or a restaurant that’s partnering with a seafood grower for an upcoming event. We want to know all about it and help you promote it! Enter the details about the event below so we can help spread the word!
Have a special coming up? Submit it here and we’ll do our best to help you promote it! Please note your special must include the sale of aquacultured shellfish to be considered for promotion.
The best way to get people to eat more shellfish is to show them how to cook more shellfish! Do you have a favorite recipe for shellfish? Share it here so we can share it far and wide!