Monte Snow and Fred Greene are the General Manager and President, respectively, of Fisherman’s Market – a company based in Nova Scotia that produces, processes, and exports high-quality seafood, specializing in live Canadian lobster.
You can learn more about their export success story here.
1. What was your first export sale?
It was dulse, to a woman in the U.S.
2. How did this opportunity come about?
She had called the department of tourism and asked where she could find dulse. We were a waterfront store so they probably put her in touch with us.
3. When it comes to exports, what do you know now that you wish you knew then?
We’ve learned some lessons along the way, you learn from your mistakes and you fine-tune things. But the reality is that a sale is not a sale and a profit is never achieved until the money is in the bank, so insuring your receivables is crucial to your success. It can also be the reason for failure. The risk is very real. It’s much more difficult to collect when it’s outside the country than when it’s within.
4. How has the trading world changed since you started in business?
Technology and advances in transportation have made the world a smaller place. You can call anywhere in the world instantaneously, most any place can be reached with planes in a day and there is very little that cannot be exported or imported. So your market is much larger than it used to be. Our challenge in going to other markets is that we have a perishable product so with lobster, the key is to keep them alive. Connecting flights and delays can cause problems and create risk.
5. What is the #1 thing new SMEs need to know about export and trade?
Make sure you get paid, you can’t drive down the road to get the bill paid and the regulations on collecting are not the same everywhere.