London â€“ Governor Sean Parnell promoted one of Alaskaâ€™s top exports during a trip to the United Kingdom this week – seafood. The governor and representatives from the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute met with key customers in London.
Governor Parnell joined senior executives from Waitrose, a signature UK retailer, during a store visit in Sandhurst. The store manager highlighted the range of Alaska seafood products available. These include smoked and canned salmon, and fillets, among others.
The value of Alaska’s seafood exports was $1.8 billion in 2010, up 12.2 percent from the previous year. The increase is attributed to the best salmon harvest in 18 years.
Governor Parnell also met with Birdseye Igloo CEO Martin Glenn and his senior leadership team. Birdseye Igloo is a leading frozen food brand and a major purchaser of Alaska pollock.
The governor and First Lady Sandy Parnell later hosted a reception for more than 60 guests from the state’s travel and seafood industries at the Westminster Kingsway Catering College in London. The reception spotlighted Alaska seafood and tourism for trade representatives who promote travel to Alaska and the United States.
Guests enjoyed a dinner prepared by the Kingsway trainee chefs. Dishes included wild Alaska salmon, Alaska pollock, king crab, and black cod. Governor Parnell enjoyed a tour of the teaching kitchens while the students prepared meals. Chef Lecturer Jose Souto said, “We cure and smoke Alaska salmon here in the college – it’s a great product as well as having a long tradition of being managed sustainably so the students really enjoy cooking with it.”
“I am thrilled to see the hard work of Alaska fishermen be recognized in kitchens and markets across the globe,” Governor Parnell said. “The hospitality extended to us has been truly wonderful.”