The new year is bringing plenty of change to New York-based Acme Smoked Fish.
The leading US smoked seafood supplier kicked off 2021 by acquiring a significant stake in Danish smoked salmon processor Norlax A/S, creating a joint venture to further the growth of the two groups in both the European and US markets.
Acme followed this news with the hire of Teresa Low as the company’s new chief marketing officer. The former Hershey Company executive brings more than 20 years of experience building global brands for Fortune 500 companies.
And now it has hired Rob Snyder, who recently stepped down as president of the Maine-based Island Institute, as its first culture and sustainability officer.
The Island Institute works to build sustainability in the state’s coastal communities, including those involved in Maine’s seafood sector. Snyder, who spent 18 years with the institute, officially joins the Acme team in May.
He will help the company adjust its business practices to address seafood and broader sustainability issues and also create a sustainable company culture that will propel Acme into the next generation, Adam Caslow, co-CEO of Acme, told IntraFish.
“If we’re going to begin to make better economic, environmental and social impacts, we’re only going to be able to do that by examining our company culture," said Caslow.
Acme has largely been viewing sustainability through the eyes of its customers.
“If the customer required a specific certification, we sourced that fish that had that specific certification,” said Caslow.
“We realized that’s not enough. Looking at what our social impact is, what our overall environmental impact is – between waste, energy, water – there was just so much more than Acme could handle, so our hope is that Rob is going to spearhead those efforts."
Snyder will be part of the company’s executive committee. His first step, said Caslow, will be to help Acme define what sustainability means in its business.
“It definitely exists so much more beyond seafood," he said. "As a company that relies on natural resources, we need to have a better awareness and eventually adjust our practices to mitigate our impact on our environment and where we do business.”
The company has operations outside the United States, in both Chile and now Denmark. Acme invested in a Chilean facility in 2015 for salmon purchasing, giving the group full control over its salmon supply from the country.
In August, land-based salmon farmer Atlantic Sapphire named Acme as its exclusive smoker for Atlantic salmon raised in Atlantic Sapphire’s US recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) farm in Miami.
"They're really putting in place a very dynamic leadership team that's meant to augment this kind of incredible history of family leadership," Snyder said of Acme, which was established in 1906.