Monday, October 17, 2005

Value added waits for no man

There was a notion being forwarded by the old guard processors for a long time that you couldn't do value added processing in Alaska. It seems that these folks haven't heard that bit of wisdom.

This picture doesn't have anything to do with this article. Just a picture of a loan customer of mine once.

Value adding has been a buzz word for years though. But like any kind of business, sometimes someone comes along that can do it cheaper and knocks you off your horse. On the other hand, if a strong relationship with a market is developed, and the quality is consistently high, it's a lot harder to lose your market. Buyers really are fickle folks. Look at how fast we all jumped over to WalMart.

It's been a lot of years since the name Swiftshure hung up on a building in Alaska. The owners of the name and the modus operandi has changed a bunch of times as well. It must be a good name and have a good market reputation still.

I think you're going to see a lot of these start-ups around the coast in Alaska, whether coming in with proper financing from down South, or boot-strapped together by fishermen. Fishermen do hold the cards though, with the first ownership of the fish, which they should be able to use to secure financing. Along with marketing contracts.

Unless you think the shore plants, no matter where the owners live, (mostly out of state) should be entitled to first ownership as well. How would that work for a plant with fishermen stockholders. Do they get to double-dip then? Oregon is going through this exercise now in the hake fishery. Are the owners of these plants going to be Barons, and their wives Barronesses.


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