On a mountaintop in the Gila Wilderness of New Mexico, OneForNeptune founder Nick Mendoza was surveying the land, mending fences, and contemplating a vision of converting his grandparents’ cattle ranch into an ecologically managed, farm-to-table or beef jerky operation. He had recently left a career in marine science and sustainable aquaculture research, with the hope of finding ways of directly impacting food system sustainability and food waste--a lifelong passion. His challenge was to create a fish jerky that would address the seafood sustainability challenges that he had been seeking to solve for years, while delivering a healthy product for snack lovers.
Fast forward two years to today and OneForNeptune’s delicious fish jerky is now available in 60 stores and the company continues to grow. Its offices are based in Santa Fe, yet they source the fish for their products from the Oregon and Washington Coast and manufacture the jerky in Seattle, keeping the supply chain short and efficient.
In an effort to increase the number of retailers who carry their jerky, OneForNeptune has recently been awarded an RDC Technology and Manufacturing (TEAM) no-interest loan to purchase retail marketing and product displays and retail fixtures to get the consumer’s attention.
“Seafood is our last wild food that we eat on a large scale,” said founder and CEO Mendoza. “The tides are turning and we believe we can better manage these amazing resources,” he said.
The company is actively working with seafood processors to assess and develop their capacity to sell off-cuts suitable for their uses. Simultaneously, they seek to grow their consumer base for their shelf-stable seafood offering, which incurs a lower carbon footprint than seafood in the fresh and frozen supply chains. Their products are also significantly less susceptible to spoilage from post-harvest through the consumer level, where the majority of seafood loss occurs.
The company has found that the average person knows very little about seafood and is shocked to learn that 90% of fish in the U.S. is imported, or about the degree of over exploitation of global fish stocks. In order to care about the issues, a person must know about the issues in seafood. OneForNeptune seeks to generate a healthy, sustainable, relationship with the ocean, securing a bluer future for our planet and its inhabitants.
To learn more about OneForNeptune and purchase their products, visit their website at www.OneForNeptune.com.