Clearwater Seafoods: From Ocean to Plate

dkaizer    March 6, 2017

Clearwater was established in 1976 by two very ambitious Nova Scotians; John Risley and Colin MacDonald. Risley and MacDonald started Clearwater as a local Lobster Pound, named for the cove in which they operated, with only a pick up truck and a vision. Over time, their vision grew from its humble beginnings in Hubbards, NS at ‘Clearwater Cove’. Clearwater grew to become Clearwater Seafoods Inc.; one of the world’s leading seafood companies and the largest holder of shellfish licenses in Canada.

Since its establishment, Clearwater has been a company committed to sustainability through science-based management. As company CEO, Ian Smith notes:

“Since Clearwater’s humble beginnings, we’ve continued to invest in science and stewardship of the resource to sustain and grow the wild seafood products we harvest. Sustainable seafood harvesting has always been at the core of Clearwater’s business, and will continue to drive our success moving forward.”

Clearwater now exports product to over 40 countries and has over 15 offices and processing facilities worldwide. A crucial component to this continued business growth is the way in which Clearwater manages their supply chain; from ‘ocean to plate’.

Clearwater has a Global Supply Chain division, of which Ron van der Giesen is President. His duties include monitoring how the seafood is harvested, procured, processed and packaged. He is also responsible for innovation and ensuring the quality and safety of both consumers and employees. A large part of Clearwater’s supply chain management strategy is understanding that sustainability is important to consumers and transparency in this is key. Ian Smith notes:

Stewardship of our resources is not only good for business; we see it as our personal and corporate responsibility. Together we are building the world’s most extraordinary wild seafood company dedicated to sustainable seafood excellence. This begins with respect for the oceans and is achieved through responsible, well-managed practices.

As a result, Clearwater ensures that their facilities, vessels, and practices meet the highest standards. Clearwater’s ‘ocean to plate’ management strategy begins with understanding their harvest areas and ecosystems. Clearwater implements scientific data in their responsible fishery management and they invest in technology to ensure the most efficient and responsible harvesting methods. As a result, they are certified by the Marine Stewardship Council.

Due to the fact that Clearwater boasts that sustainability and quality are at the heart of their entire operation, they control all areas of their supply chain. Clearwater assures their consumers that government regulations are met (if not exceeded) throughout all aspects of the company; literally from ocean to plate. Government surveillance occurs throughout the entire supply chain as well as self evaluations, consumer evaluations and independent verification.

The transparency in Clearwater’s supply chain management is not only due to government and consumer reports however. It is also due to their use of social media. Their company website serves as a gateway into their corporate world (they even have a page dedicated to vessel tracking) and they also have active accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube. Through these accounts, they showcase everything from the building of a new vessel, to a tour of their processing facilities, to delicious seafood recipes and how-to’s; further emphasizing their ‘ocean to plate’ approach.

Lessons for Others

Clearwater’s commitment to transparency and sustainability in their supply chain management touches on their core values of character, competence and teamwork:

  • Inspiring the trust of all stakeholders by taking responsibility, acting with integrity and leading with courage.
  • Building a learning, diverse and CAN-DO culture characterized
    by excellence in thought, execution and agility.
  • Working together to achieve extraordinary things at sea, in the
    workplace and the marketplace.

as well as their six core business strategies:

  1. Expand access to supply.
  2. Target profitable & growing markets, channels & customers.
  3. Innovate & position products to deliver superior customer satisfaction & value.
  4. Increase margins by improving price realization and cost management.
  5. Pursue and preserve the long-term sustainability of resources on land and sea.
  6. Build organizational capability, capacity and engagement.

Clearwater’s use of social media in relation to their supply chain is increasingly improving communication, collaboration and innovation; both internally between employees, and externally between the brand and it’s consumers. It serves as a platform to not only drive business, but it also leads to a better understanding of consumer demands, business trends and best practices. By incorporating social media into supply chain management strategy, businesses can drive innovation, which in turn leads to business growth.

Clearwater is a proven example of this, so go ahead and take a bite from their plate!

Organization: Clearwater Seafoods
Industry: Seafood
Name of Organization Contact: Ian D. Smith, CEO

Authored by: dkaizer

If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site, please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance.


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