retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Associated Press has what appears to be an extraordinary piece of journalism, investigating a company called Sea To Table that specialized in “guaranteeing its products were wild and directly traceable to a U.S. dock — and sometimes the very boat that brought it in.”

The story maintains that Sea To Table is a fraud.

“Sea To Table offered a worry-free local solution that arrived from dock to doorstep by connecting chefs directly with more than 60 partners along U.S. coasts,” the AP writes. “While its mission is clear, scaling up to a national level while naming specific boats and docks is currently unrealistic. Still, the company is predicting rapid growth — from $13 million in sales last year to $70 million by 2020, according to a confidential investor report obtained by the AP.
As its business expanded, Sea To Table has been saying one thing but selling another.”

The AP investigation “found that the company was linked to some of the same practices it vowed to fight. Preliminary DNA tests suggested some of its yellowfin tuna likely came from the other side of the world.” The company may have said that its tuna came from Montauk, NY, but “during a bone-chilling week … photographers set up a camera that shot more than 36,000 time-lapse photos of a Montauk harbor, showing no tuna boats docking. At the same time, AP reporters worked with a chef to order fish supposedly coming from the seaside town. The boat listed on the receipt hadn’t been there in at least two years.”

It is an amazingly detailed piece, and you can read it here. (And if you sell seafood from Sea To Table, you likely will have some questions to ask.)
KC's View:
I hope the full ire of the federal government comes down on these folks … jail, fines, and maybe a steady diet of questionable seafood sourced by disreputable fishermen.