by Sree Sreenivasan, CEO and Co-Founder of Digimentors
In a giant convention center filled with stalls from 50+ countries, almost all the food on display was of the frozen kind. When there was food being put out for samples, they were mostly tiny cups of cold fish like sushi and similar fare. But in one booth, there was something special happening.
A celebrated Michelin chef, Hemant Mathur, was doing live cooking of calamari and shrimp, Indian style. The attendant aroma and the tasting plates provided to attendees were the rave of the Seafood Expo North America, the largest seafood trade show in this part of the world. 20,000+ attendees from 100 countries were on hand to find new business, see the latest trends and, of course, trade fish tales.
Mathur, who owns Saar in New York City and a flourishing catering business, was the star attraction at India pavilion at SENA, which was organized by the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), the Indian agency responsible for promoting and developing the country's seafood industry. Working with the Indian Consulate in New York (which also covers Boston and the rest of New England), MPEDA uses SENA each year to showcase Indian seafood products and highlight the country's growing role in the global seafood market.
The India pavilion also had multiple booths from India-based exporters of seafood, who had come to expand their US customer base. MPEDA provided information on the quality, sustainability, and traceability of Indian seafood, and highlighted the measures that Indian seafood companies are taking to meet the highest standards in the industry.
They’re already doing something right: 40 percent of all shrimp consumed in the US is from India(!)