Despite having a background in cattle and sheep farming Sam Gordon, Executive Director of Blue Harvest, developed an interest in aquaculture at an early age and went on to study aquaculture and business at the University of Tasmania.
After university, Sam managed a trout farm before moving into the sales marketing side of aquaculture, due to his frustration that development of aquaculture was being driven by the science of production without due consideration of the products marketability and sound business case.
“I wanted to understand the marketplace,” he said.
Sam then based at the Sydney Fish Market where he worked as Executive Officer at the Australian Master Fish Merchants Association and sat on the board of the Australian Seafood Industry Council chaired by Senator Nigel Scullion. This gave Sam good exposure, understanding of the marketplace and how seafood was traded.
From there Sam spent five years at Seafarm during a time where their company had decided to grow Banana Prawns as opposed to Black Tiger Prawns. They developed the brand name Crystal Bay Prawns and successfully differentiated their product from wild caught banana prawns which were being sold at a lower price.
Sam established his own business, Blue Harvest in 2005. A seafood sales and marketing agency, with experienced staff in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra.
Blue Harvest invested heavily in cloud-based software platforms and developed a sales and marketing capability, that for money spent, most individual aquaculture companies could not achieve if they managed this process internally.
Managing sales of $55 million of seafood every year, Blue Harvest has a direct trading relationship with the major retailers, wholesalers and food distribution companies around the country and sell high quality seafood products including prawns, mussels, oysters, pipis, lobster, crab and finfish.
“We are totally transparent, our producers know who we sell to and for what price,” Sam said.
“There is a level of trust with our wholesales, we treat all our customers in the same way and we encourage the entire supply chain to be fully transparent.”
Most recently, Sam established Blue Harvest Aquaculture, a joint venture with South Coast Mariculture. They have a marine lease at Jervis Bay, on the South Coast of NSW, for the production of Australian Blue Mussels, Angassi Oysters, Sydney Rock Oysters, Akova Pearl Oysters, Scallops and Marine Algae.
“We are vertically integrated getting involved with the actual aquaculture production,” he said.
“Our hope is to continue to partner up with successful operators where we can add value.”
Sam loves the diversity of his job, how each day is different, and the opportunities he gets to interact with many different people.
“I love that the seafood industry is raw and full of character,” he said.