Aquaculture for all

RuralWorks invests in US eel farming pioneer

Eels Sustainability Startups +6 more

RuralWorks, an impact-driven investment firm committed to fostering rural community growth and environmental sustainability, has announced a $1.5 million investment in American Unagi, the largest eel farmer in the US.

American Unagi is providing traceability for its eels, whilst striving to establish eels as an accepted consumer product

© RuralWorks

American Unagi (AU) sells a range of live and value-added eel (also known as unagi) products to customers inclusing Michelin-star restaurants and distributors throughout the United States.

American Unagi claims that it is disrupting the traditional eel supply chain, from Maine to China, as it aims to dominate the 5,000 metric tonne US market. AU’s products are traceable, down to the specific fisherman who harvested the juvenile eels from the rivers of Maine.

RuralWorks’ investment will support American Unagi's growth. Operating in partnership with the local Passamaquoddy Tribe, and with the backing of RuralWorks, AU states that it is well positioned to supply the escalating consumer demand for sustainably sourced, traceable seafood, notably within the fast-growing market for Japanese cuisine.

“With a strong focus on supporting local economies and preserving our environment, American Unagi leads the way in sustainable aquaculture,” said Sara Rademaker, founder of American Unagi, in a press release. “Our mission is to offer consumers a responsible and traceable alternative to uncertain imported eel products, while championing community growth and responsible natural resource management. Our collaboration with RuralWorks is an important piece in achieving these goals.”

RuralWorks, which says it is committed to investing in scalable rural businesses that generate quality jobs while addressing challenges posed by climate change, is excited about this new relationship.

“We are thrilled to support American Unagi’s disruptive approach to sustainable aquaculture,” said Louisa Schibli, RuralWorks’ chief engagement officer. “This investment aligns perfectly with our mission to help build local agriculture and food supply chains, create economic resilience within rural communities, and promote environmentally responsible solutions.”

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