Years of dedication to Quality
The I.S.F. Trading, one of the largest sea urchin processing company in the United States, was founded in Mine by Tamaki, a Japanese native who has lived in the United States for 44 years. many years ago, I.S.F. had only 20 employees and processed about 30 per cent of the urchins it bought. With a strong commitment to quality, an aggressive approach to the East Asian market and a strong spirit of giving back and dedication to the local community, the company has achieved great success. Now, 10 per cent of the sea urchin products is processed by I.S.F. in US, which employs 40 workers and handles 5000 to 9000 pounds of sea urchins per day in a 12,000-square-foot warehouse at the company's Hobson's Wharf location.
We have redefined the sea urchin industry in Maine. In the past, shipping processed sea urchin roe was difficult and not very profitable. In addition, Japanese buyers were very picky about how roe was delivered. As a result, the company found this arrangement too costly. However, things changed because of a new market the company created for Umi in Japan. By processing the sea urchin roe in Maine and packaging it at a lower cost, Maine people could sell the Sea urchin roe much lower than gourmet stores. This new creative packaging is plastic, and Tamaki uses plastic drums to replace the wooden pallets traditionally used in the industry, reducing the cost of shipping and the skill requirements for workers. This approach led to a technological change in seafood processing in Maine and made Sea urchin roe an affordable commodity sold at lower prices in Japan. With persistence in the sea urchin business by Tamaki, what was almost worthless 50 years ago has become one of the state's most valuable seafood products in recent years, third only to lobster and cod.
"The seafood business is always come and go," Tamaki said. "Easy to come, and easy to go." The development of the seafood industry is not always smooth, and I.S.F. believes that with our rich experience, professional knowledge, and creative ability, the company will continue to withstand the wind and waves of the market to meet the new development journey, to ensure the unwavering provision of the freshest, safest food and excellent, professional service to our buyers.