The Abbey Group is, once again, ahead of the curve.

By a substantial margin, the U.S. Senate decided Tuesday to pass the Farm Bill, which dictates, in part, that American seafood be served over imported products in school lunch programs. The House was set to take up the vote the following day.

Through a partnership with Massachusetts-based North Coast Seafoods – among others – The Abbey Group has been serving locally-caught seafood, mainly Acadian redfish, in schools across the region since August, with related discussions stretching back at least a year.

The Abbey Group oversees a network of food service programs at schools around New England and Upstate New York, as well as at select corporate and government accounts. The company values fresh, local ingredients and from-scratch cooking whenever possible, so local, New England seafood was a no-brainer.

“We’ve also become members of the Gulf of Maine Research Institute,” said Abbey Underwood, vice president of marketing for The Abbey Group. “It’s a sustainable institution. We’re using underutilized seafood with North Coast Seafood and helping local fishermen.”

Acadian Redfish is a sustainably-managed seafood choice, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and is currently above the target population for sustainable fishing.

The Abbey Group contracted to buy 150,000 pounds of the wild-caught fish at the start of the 2018-19 school year.

“We are all very excited to start a new school relationship,” said Andrew Wilkinson, a seafood specialist for North Coast, back in August. “Serving healthy seafood to our youth is very important to us.”

Abbey Group Executive Vice President Scott Choiniere is excited to continue expanding the scope of local, sustainable products purchased in New England.

“We’re buying food directly from fishermen and food producers, which in turn allows them to feed their own families while putting healthy and nutritious food on kids’ plates throughout New England and New York,” Choiniere said. “That’s why we always do our best to buy local. It benefits everyone.”

The Abbey Group is a New England-based company that provides food service programs at schools, colleges and businesses around the Northeast. The company’s main mission is to provide children with delicious and nutritious meals that use as many local products as possible. For more information about the company, please visit “Like” The Abbey Group on Facebook at @AbbeyGroupFood.