ANCHORAGE, AK – On July 1, 2015, Coastal Villages Region Fund (CVRF), a Community Development Quota (CDQ) company responsible for creating economic development opportunities for residents of 20 western Alaska villages and also one of Alaska’s largest seafood companies, was honored to host executives from Maruha Nichiro, the largest seafood company in the world, on a visit to western Alaska. Maruha Nichiro executives from Japan, Seattle, and Anchorage joined CVRF managers on a trip to Quinhagak, where they were greeted by members of CVRF’s board of directors and other local residents.

“Hosting Maruha Nichiro executives in our village was a great honor,” said Darren Cleveland, CVRF board member from Quinhagak. “They are an important partner in our Bering Sea pollock business. Because of our relationship, it is important for us to share with them what we are doing to create economic opportunity for our people, to give them a deeper look into the meaning of our mission. Our work with partners like Maruha Nichiro in the Bering Sea has direct, tangible impacts on our communities. It supports numerous programs and provides employment opportunities throughout our region. We are proud to have the chance to share this firsthand with our friends from Maruha Nichiro.”

From Quinhagak, the group traveled to Platinum, home of the CVRF Goodnews Bay regional processing center. This plant, opened by CVRF in 2009, serves as the primary local buying station for commercial salmon harvested from the lower Kuskokwim River area by CVRF and other area residents. Capable of processing up to 150,000 pounds of salmon per day, the facility provides important processing jobs every summer to over 200 residents from CVRF’s villages and the State of Alaska. In 2015, the plant’s activities have been expanded by supplementing the local harvest with salmon from the Bristol Bay runs, providing greater stability to the employment base. While in Platinum, the group toured the coastline by boat on the 115 foot tender, Kelly Mae, owned and operated by CVRF to support its salmon processing activities.

“We very much enjoyed meeting board members, community members, and CVRF staff at the villages and the Platinum processing plant,” said Maruha Nichiro President Ito, “The trip showed us the remoteness of the villages and provided brief exposure to village life. Their warm welcome made the visit very enjoyable. I am very happy to have had this opportunity to make our relationship ever stronger.”

“Our business has both an international footprint and a local heart that beats here in our region,” says Morgen Crow, CVRFs’ Executive Director. “This trip with our friends from Maruha Nichiro exemplifies both of these facts. Successful relationships with leading companies such as Maruha Nichiro help deliver our products from the Bering Sea throughout the world. This activity supports opportunities for our people,
opportunities that provide hope for their future and that of their children and grandchildren. We look forward
to growing a long and prosperous relationship with Maruha Nichiro, one that benefits both companies and the
people of the Coastal Villages region.”