Jared Auerbach, CEO of Red's Best and a former commercial fishermen, is bridging the gap between the consumer and the fisherman. Based out of Boston, Red's Best is a leader in the "Buy Local, Eat Local" food movement- not only do they buy directly from local fishermen, they also tell the consumer the story behind their fish with their app-based Traceability system.
Traceability & Peace of Mind
Red's Best's Traceability system streamlines the buying and distribution process-thus ensuring fishermen are paid quicker and consumers are provided a fresher fish. Here's how it works:
A boat informs Red's Best that it is coming into port.
- A Red's Best truck arrives to the port, a crew unloads the fish and electronically records the amount of fish. The fish are driven to a Red's Best processing facility.
- With the Traceability system, the incoming fish are broadcast in real time on a live feed for buyers to see. A buyer places an order.
- The fish are quickly processed in Massachusetts at a Red's Best facility and sent to the buyer. By the time the buyer receives the order, the fish have been out of the water for mere hours.
- The buyer displays and sells the fish to the consumer. The consumer can scan the black and white QR code to see which boat and captain brought in the fish, what gear was used to catch the fish and the home port of the fishing vessel.
Since transportation, processing and distribution are all accomplished by Red's Best, buyers can be confident that they are getting the fish that they paid for, that it has undergone minimal freezing/ thawing cycles and that it has been caught and processed locally. In an industry where deception is common, Red's Best is providing clarity and peace of mind to buyers and consumers.
During a visit to Red's Best at the Boston Fish Pier, it is evident that Jared is hands-on and involved with every aspect of his business to ensure quality product is being received and distributed. At one point, Jared was elbows deep in a cart load of squid and ice, smelling and examining their color and eyes "Smell that" he said, "That is what fish should smell like!" There was a faint smell of saltwater and brine, that's it. That day, Bluefish, Skate, Squid and Monkfish were all in bins of ice either about to be shipped out or about to be processed. Every person in the facility was rapidly wheeling shipments in and hustling shipments out. Surprisingly, for a space that moved so much fish, there wasn't much to smell. That is when you know they are handling quality.
keep it local
While the traceability technology does make them a one of a kind business, Jared explains that "traceability is a by-product of what we do". On top of providing high quality local seafood, Red's Best keeps money in the local economy by providing jobs and by buying directly from the fishermen. On a random day last summer, Red's Best made tens if not hundreds of separate purchases from fishermen. Some purchases were costly, some were as small as $18. Big or small, Jared says "we have a home for everything."
Red's Best has been rapidly expanding, yet they still take time to reach out to the community to talk about fish. They have been to several colleges in the area, such as Harvard, Boston University, UMass Boston and University of New Hampshire where there has been an encouraging response from students. Colleges are learning that students in the dining commons will eat fish, but only if the know that the fish has been responsibly harvested and handled properly. Today when consumers, especially the Millennial Generation, are demanding to know the story behind their food, Red's Best is solid at providing transparency in their product.
When asked if there are certain fish that New Englanders should eat more of, Jared exclaimed "Let's just keep it local." Red's Best is definitely leading by example.