US-based Acme Smoked Fish will be awarding three applicants $40,000 (€38,000) each as part of its first grant program under the company's new Acme Smoked Fish Foundation.

The Seafood Industry Climate Awards are designed to support innovative projects that will lower the seafood industry’s carbon footprint and increase the leadership role of women and minority communities in the industry.

The winners will be announced in October, and applicants doing early-stage research and at existing programs and startups are are encouraged to apply.

In addition to funding for projects, grantees will also be mentored by team members at Acme Smoked Fish and will participate in industry events.

A panel of judges from across the industry will evaluate applications based on innovation, impact, diversity and approach.

To apply, individuals who are associated with a non-profit organization in the United States or Canada can complete an online application by Aug. 10.

“As climate-related impacts continue to affect the industry at large, we remain focused on our goal to create lasting and critical changes in the seafood value chain," said Rob Snyder, Acme’s culture and sustainability officer.

Acme Smoked Fish established the foundation in the fall of 2022 with an initial contribution of $250,000 (€240,000) in memoriam to the late Eric Caslow, co-Chairman of the company. Supporters of the fund include lead sponsor TD Bank along with several additional companies and individuals.

Expansion plans

Acme has been on an expansion drive recently. In February, the company acquired a 43,000-square-foot facility in Pompano Beach, Florida, as part of an ambitious expansion.

Brooklyn, New York-based Acme is currently building out the space into a smoked salmon facility and plans to hire 30 employees for the new plant in the coming weeks, it said. The factory is around 59 percent larger than the one the company previously leased in Florida.

In January 2021, Acme acquired a "significant" stake in Danish smoked salmon processor Norlax A/S, creating a joint venture that created a platform for the growth of the two groups in both Europe and the United States.

Acme also operates its largest 100,000-square-foot facility in Wilmington, North Carolina in addition to its Brooklyn headquarters.

The company also processes fish in Chile and produces smoked fish in Massachusetts with Spence & Co. and Norlax in Denmark.

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