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Sustainability

Tampa Bay Fisheries, Inc. (TBF) is committed to providing our customers with only the best quality seafood possible. As a result, many policies and programs have been put into practice to ensure that our products meet and exceed our customers' expectations. Outlined below are a few of the programs followed during regular production of our products.

Tampa Bay Fisheries, Inc. has a vast sourcing network available to find top quality products at the right price. Our procurement team here in the US, and abroad, allow for greater availability of products when they are hard to source. This network allows us to get the exact products our customers need including sustainability produced products if requested.

All products entering the Tampa Bay Fisheries, Inc. system undergo extensive inspection by our trained Quality Control staff. The inspections consist of both physical as well as organoleptic checks to ensure only the best quality products are used. Species substitution is combated through visual identification when possible and using DNA analysis if necessary or requested by our customers.

All shrimp products are thawed in our unique recirculating cascade thawing machines. These machines thaw the shrimp in a fraction of the time is takes using static thaw tanks. This allows us to keep the shrimp at a cold temperature. The shrimp go from a frozen block or from the IQF form to an ice water bath in approximately 10-15 minutes. Being that the shrimp are never submerged, there is no chance of shrimp sitting in the thaw tanks all day during subsequent thawing cycles, as is the norm with a static tank thawing method. Shrimp are layered in ice when placed in the tank to be taken to the production line, and temperatures are monitored continuously to ensure no tank drops below 45F.

All production lines are assigned one or more Quality Control Inspector. The inspectors stay with the line from beginning to end ensuring all specifications are met for each individual product that may be run on the line. Quality checks are continuously performed during production runs of every product.

All products are put on trucks directly from the storage freezer, spending little to no time on the refrigerated dock. All out-going trucks are checked for debris, cleanliness, odor, pest presence, structural damage and temperature. Trucks will not be loaded until all areas pass inspection and they are pre-cooled.

All cases are stamped with the lot number which is coded so that each case can be traced back to the raw material from which it was manufactured and the plant where it was produced. Mock recalls are performed bi-annually to ensure traceability is possible.

Tampa Bay Fisheries, Inc. is proud of our commitment to being environmentally conscious and responsible. We support the sustainable growth and/or harvest of seafood around the world and participate in globally recognized sustainability programs (see certifications below). The WateReuse Association recognized our company with its 2005 National Award for a Water Reuse Project whereby water from the seafood production processes is treated at our on-site wastewater treatment facility and then moved to an ornamental plant nursery nearby saving thousands of gallons per day. Recycling programs have also been implemented with respect to cardboard, Styrofoam, and waste breading. Waste cooking oil is being used in our pilot biodiesel plant where it is refined to be able to run our mowers, forklifts and company vehicles. Combining all of these programs helps to substantially reduce our carbon footprint. Further environmentally friendly projects are being explored in the hopes that it will help to reduce our use of natural resources and impact on the environment.

Tampa Bay Fisheries, Inc. is certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) to handle MSC certified sustainable products. We are also a member of the Aquaculture Certification Council (ACC) buyers group certifying that we buy aquacultured products meeting strict specifications outlined by the ACC deeming them to be environmentally and socially conscious. We are GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative) compliant through the BAP (Best Aquaculture Practices) Certification process.
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