Albion Farms & Fisheries Partners with Beretta Farms

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New partnership delivers RWA protein.

June 27, 2017


Vancouver, BC – Albion Farms & Fisheries, one of Canada’s most trusted distributors for meat and seafood, has formed a partnership with Beretta Farms, a long-time supplier of RWA protein, to serve the needs of our long term, loyal customers and a growing list of new customers.

“Once again Albion Farms & Fisheries has found a way to increase our customer service levels by collaborating with one of Canada’s premium protein providers”, said Danny Ransom, General Manager of Albion Farms and Fisheries. “This new partnership, with Mike and Cynthia Beretta of Beretta Farms, provides our customers with a wider breadth of products. We are excited about enhancing the value we provide our customers.”

Beretta Farms focuses on hormone and antibiotic free, organic and grass-fed beef. Beretta Farms premium RWA proteins are found in restaurants and grocers across Canada.

Additionally, Albion Farms and Fisheries offers service, quality, an uninterrupted, consistent supply of superior meat and seafood and are dedicated to meeting the Centre-of-the-Plate needs of their customers with a greater breadth of offerings and commitment to sustainability.

MEDIA, PLEASE NOTE: To request high resolution images or an interview with an Albion spokesperson, please contact Deb Abraham at (616) 717-4479 or

Albion Farms and Fisheries is Committed to Sustainable Practices

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Sustainable fishing guarantees there will be populations of ocean and freshwater wildlife for the future. Aquatic environments are home to countless species of fish and invertebrates, most of which are consumed as food.

Albion Farms and Fisheries have led the industry in sustainable fishing practices for the past several years. In fact, Albion voluntarily discontinued selling Chilean sea bass in 2005 due to the overwhelming evidence of overfishing. Albion Farms and Fisheries works very closely with the local Ocean Wise program, the nationwide Seachoice organization, and the global Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

Albion Farms and Fisheries are able to pinpoint the exact area in which seafood products are harvested and the method used because Albion sources from reputable, traceable fisheries. This information will be shared with customers, should any issues arise concerning a fishery. Albion Farms and Fisheries’ Closer to the Source division (CTS) imports specific products globally because they adhere to the following internationally accepted sustainability principles:

  • Harvest only abundant and resilient fish populations
  • Operate a well-managed fishery
  • Utilize fishing methods that have minimal by-catch and minimal effect on the habitat and the ocean floor

Albion Farms and Fisheries also offers sustainably raised meats that have a wide range of nutritional benefits. Compared to factory farmed meat, sustainable meat from animals raised on pasture contains less fat, fewer calories and higher levels of omega-3 essential fatty acids, vitamin E, beta carotene and other important nutrients. As an added benefit, sustainably raised meat is produced without the use of growth hormones, antibiotics or unsavory feed additives that undermine public health.

The following sustainable brands, exclusive to Albion Farms and Fisheries, offer health benefits, product safety, and superior taste produced under stringent standards of humane treatment and environmental stewardship.

  1. Rossdown Poultry: produced in an environmentally sensitive manner at family-run farms.
  2. Sakura Pork: pigs are raised without the use of Ractopamine (a drug commonly used as a feed additive to promote leanness), and they are vegetable grain fed without bone meal or other fillers.
  3. White Stripe Lamb: fed a diet of all natural clovers, graze in Lucerne and rye pastures, naturally raised without antibiotics or hormone growth promotants.
  4. Beretta Farms: 100% Canadian Angus Beef sustainable from conception to consumption. Grass fed, hormone and steroid free, raised on vegetarian feed without the use of animal by-products.


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According to Wilf Swartz, Nereus Program Manager/Research Associate, “The reality is not that seafood lacks seasonality. In fact, as one of the few remaining, large-scale forms of hunting wild foods, marine fisheries are, without doubt, more susceptible to seasonal variations in productivity than other major food sources. We’ve simply found it convenient to overlook that fact for a number of reasons.”

“Fish stocks migrate in and out of local fishing grounds. Sometimes they are locally plentiful, and sometimes they are not. During the spawning season, a fish’s body chemistry changes, e.g. fat content declines, and consequently for the consumer, flavour differs throughout the year. However, with the advancement of freezing technology and the expansion of global distribution networks, retail markets are now able to supply select species (and their close substitutes) throughout the year from all corners of the world. This, in effect, masks seasonal variations in local fisheries. Our seafood consumption has gone from “fish of the day” to “fish of whenever” and doesn’t take its bearing from the season.”

Ocean Wise provides a chart outlining the seasonality of ocean-friendly seafood. (see Look for the Ocean Wise symbol on menus to confirm the seafood being served is sustainably caught.

The seasonality of most of these seafood species varies from year to year. Most species are also available frozen year round.

Spring into Fall – B.C. and Alaskan sockeye salmon is available from May through the end of September. Pacific halibut is available from mid-April through mid-November.

Spring into summer – B.C. Spot prawn is available in May and June.

Summer – Chinook salmon from B.C. and Alaska is available from mid-June to the end of August. Pink salmon is available in July and August.

Summer into fall – Coho and Chum salmon from B.C. and Alaska is available from July to the end of October. Striped Bass from Massachusetts is available in July through to mid-September. Rock Crab from Belle River, PEI is available from August through to mid-November.

Spring into winter – Albacore tuna from the North Pacific is available from mid-May through to the end of December. Swordfish is available from mid-April through mid-December.

Winter into spring – Albacore Tuna from the South Pacific from January to the end of April.

All year – Sable fish from B.C. is available all year.

An Inside Look at our Brand Name Products

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Our Bayside® and Calypso® branded seafood products have been carefully chosen to provide seafood selections that offer you consistent high quality, great value and importantly, outstanding food safety. Moreover, Bayside® and Calypso® are natural and chemical free to ensure that what is being served or sold is wholesome and healthy. In addition, our team also works with restaurateurs and retailers to create exclusive, custom branded products to help create a value added advantage in their seafood lines.

Handcrafted Custom Meats: We focus our attention on quality control. This ensures that uniform sizing, grade range, cut specification, and minimum aging standards are met constantly.

Certified Angus Beef: Certified Angus Beef is the only Angus Beef Program approved and monitored by the American Angus Association. Less than 8% of all beef in North America and only one-in-five Angus style cattle can achieve the Certified Angus Beef Brand.

Rossdown Farms Poultry: Located in British Columbia’s fertile Fraser Valley, Rossdown Farms & Natural Foods is a family-run business that balances traditional values with progressive practices. Rossdown farms produce eggs, hatch chicks, and feed and grow the poultry in an environmentally sensitive manner.

Sakura Pork: Albion Farms & Fisheries is the exclusive distributor of the Sakura Pork premium brand of pork. A rigorous inspection process ensures that only those pork cuts that meet Sakura’s exacting criteria for colour, size, marbling, conformation and cut specification are selected for distribution.

White Stripe: ‘Second Cross’ Australian Lamb is naturally raised without antibiotics or added hormones, for a fresh and healthy taste, naturally marbled on clean pastures for a fantastic flavour and bred from the highest quality bloodlines. The result is consistent high quality taste.

Beretta Farms: 100% Canadian Angus Alberta Beef. No added hormones, steroids or nontherapeutic antibiotics are added to their food. Cattle are vegetable fed without the use of animal by-products. Sustainable from conception to consumption and much more flavorful than ‘factory-farmed’ meat

By controlling what goes in to our brands, you are ensured that you are serving or selling wholesome and healthy meat and seafood. You can depend on Albion.

Portioning Meat and Seafood to Get The Best Value

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In the May 2016 issue of, Lorri Mealey writes about Portion Control, “Portion control is an important factor in keeping a restaurant profitable. One of the reasons chain restaurants are so profitable is the fact that they have menu portions under control. Also, given that more and more consumers are watching their health by watching their portion sizes restaurant owners need to watch the portion sizes coming out of the kitchen. Portion control is also important for keeping menu items consistent for every shift.”

What is portion control? Every item on your menu should have a controlled portion size in order to keep food costs in check. Ms. Mealey explains why it is important to implement a portion control practice in your business, “it’s important to keep portion sizes in check in order to maintain correct food cost and overall restaurant profits.”

Here is a simple food cost example. You offer a plate of seafood jambalaya for $10.00. You based the price on 115 gm/serving per plate. That equals 9 cents per gram. Say five times each day, during the lunch and dinner rush, your kitchen staff uses the wrong ladle and overfills a plate by 10 grams. That equals $4.50 a day uncharged. Not a huge loss, however, if it happens every day, that adds up to over $1600 a year.

By controlling portions, you not only keep your food costs in line, you also ensure that customers will receive consistency when they order their favorite meal. Good portion control depends on implementing specific systems and procedures like having written plating instructions. In addition, you can display a photo of each plate of food as a visual reminder but also to help new kitchen and wait staff recognize what correct portions look like.

When purchasing meat and seafood, ask your Albion Farms & Fisheries representative to help set up a proper portion control procedure for your establishment. They can also recommend the pairings and combinations that go together on a plate in addition to the size of servings. Ordering pre-determined portions means that your presentations will always look the same, plated foods will complement each other and your cost per plate will be under your control.


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Charcuterie is a culinary specialty that originally referred to the creation of pork products such as salami, sausages, and prosciutto, and is true food artisanship, the art of turning preserved food into items of beauty and taste. The term encompasses a vast range of preparations, most of which involve salting, cooking, smoking, and drying.

The Food Lover’s Companion also says, “it refers to the products, particularly (but not limited to) pork specialties such as pâtés, rillettesgalantinescrépinettes, etc.”

Thanks to, here are a few tips to put together a striking charcuterie board that will leave your guests breathless. Say goodbye to the spinach dip.

  1. The Board – Use a large wooden (food safe) board plus rustic glasses or mason jars for grissini or condiments and a variety of small and large bowls for olives and spreads. Make sure every cheese and spread has its own knife or spoon.
  2. The Cheese – Try soft, medium and hard cheeses and leave them whole for guests to cut themselves.
  3. The Meat – The possibilities are endless but variety is crucial. Select thin slices of prosciutto, dry cured salami, chorizo sausage. Have 3 – 4 different options for guests to choose.
  4. The Bread – Look for Grissini (Italian bread sticks), fresh baguette and a variety of flatbreads. Use your imagination!
  5. The Fruit – Compliment the meat and cheese with fresh and dried fruit adding whatever is in season to the table for both décor and a healthy twist to an indulgent treat. A big bowl of plums, fresh figs or dried apricots scattered among the meat and cheese, and sliced apples, pears or nectarines are all great additions
  6. The Other stuff – Here is where it gets interesting. Walnuts, olives, antipasto, fresh honey, fig spreads, pepper or wine jelly, tapenade and marinated vegetables will make the board stand out from the rest.
  7. Putting it together – it’s best to make the board about 30 minutes before serving to allow the cheese to come to room temperature and don’t leave the board out for longer than 2 hours at room temperature for food safety reasons.

The New Catch of the Day

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There is an old expression that we are creatures of habit. We like things the way they are and we avoid change whenever possible because change challenges our comfort zone. In the world of food, especially seafood, change is good and change is appetizing.

The Albion Farms & Fisheries ‘Closer to the Source’ division, sources direct from the Albion Farms and Fisheries dedicated fleet of fishing boats in the Pacific Northwest. It also searches the globe for the best quality, competitively priced product in the world and flies in daily international air shipments.

Offering over 3,500 fresh, frozen and live products, as true seafood specialists, Albion buyers are excited to find and introduce new, innovative and sustainable products.

To find something new and challenge your comfort zone as well as your palate, look no further than the Albion Farms & Fisheries website Click on any one of the five seafood categories listed there including salmon, exotic, local finfish, shellfish and live and you will be taken to a sampling of over 40 different seafood choices. Every species shown includes a detailed summary listing characteristics, handling and storage, seasonal availability, flavour/texture profile and cooking tips.

As SeaChoice and Ocean Wise members, Albion Farms & Fisheries practice environmental protection and promote the consumption of sustainable seafood, enabling their customers to make environmentally friendly seafood choices. Strict Ocean Wise and SeaChoice standards guide the fishing and buying decisions of every new catch of the day offering.

Here is a new catch of the day to add some variety to your normal seafood choices – Frozen Arctic Char Fillets (skin on/PBO). Raised in the Northwest Territories from the Tree River and Nauyuk Strain the fillets are boneless and weigh 12 – 20 ounces. The flesh colour is a distinct orange with a high fat content. It is available all year long and has a milder flavour than salmon with delicate to medium texture. It is best suited for sautéing, broiling, baking, or grilling. Cook it with the skin on but remove the skin before serving.

Genesis of the Ethical Meat Movement

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What is the ethical meat movement?

Until the 1920s, all agriculture was generally organic or considered ethically sustainable. Farmers used natural means to feed the soil, feed the animals and control pests. The modern organic movement began at the same time as industrialized agriculture in the 1920s, when a group of farmers and consumers sought alternatives to the industrialization of agriculture.

The ethical meat movement is grounded in farming practices that are considered to be highly sustainable and are based on the principal of building and nurturing the natural biodiversity and structure within the soils and the surrounding environment.

Livestock practices are more humane and allow livestock to grow in a natural environment with free access to fields or outdoor areas, natural bedding and plenty of indoor areas. They are not mutilated, confined or caged. They graze on organic pasture and are fed organic feedstuff that has not been contaminated with chemicals, animal by-products or genetically modified foods.

The following organic features characterize the ethical meat movement:

Sustainably farmed – the agricultural principle which builds up soil fertility and prevents top soil degradation and erosion.

Free of chemicals – synthetic chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and fertilizers are not used.

Not irradiated – crops or livestock not subjected to irradiation, a process in which food is exposed to high-energy ionizing radiation.

Not genetically modified – no artificial human intervention.

No antibiotics or growth hormones – livestock are allowed to mature naturally without the use of growth promoting agents. Antibiotics are not routinely used to prevent diseases.

Humane treatment of livestock – livestock are given access to fields, clean water, daylight and adequate ventilation, allowed plenty of space to express their natural behaviour, given comfortable bedding and good shelter from prevailing winds. They eat their natural diet, supplemented by organic grain. There are fewer animals stocked on every acre to prevent overgrazing. Poultry can wander outdoors instead of being confined to cages or packed in a shed. They are not fed food that contains any animal wastes or growth enhancing agents or anything containing genetically modified ingredients. (Thanks to:

Combinations and Pairings

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The essence of foodpairing is the combining of different foods that share the same major flavour components. This approach helps with recipe design and provides new and sometimes unconventional food combinations based on their flavour. Food combining (also known as trophology) is a term for a nutritional approach that advocates specific combinations of foods as central to good health.

Here are some examples of foodpairing with ingredients not likely to be top of mind.

Test your taste buds and try pairing beef with the following:

  • Garlic, ginger, coconut milk
  • Garlic and tomatoes
  • Mushrooms, red wine and black pepper
  • Cinnamon, coriander, onions, and tomatoes

Get creative and try these pairings with salmon:

  • Grapefruit, avocado, and chili peppers
  • Beets, cashew cream and horseradish
  • Chili peppers, pineapples and tomatoes
  • Coriander, cumin, lime, cilantro and ginger

The key to foodpairing is to experiment. Let your imagination run wild or search online for guidance and inspiration from expert chefs – you won’t be disappointed.

Did You Know?

The most recognized or popular combination of pairing seafood and meat is ‘surf and turf’, a restaurant term referring to an entrée that includes a portion of meat and a portion of seafood. The term appears to have originated along the Atlantic Coast of the United States. By the late 1960s, the term was being used on both coasts. Beef and seafood, such as shrimp, are a great pairing as they share certain flavour components, and are, in fact, more flavourful when paired together.