Seafood industry voices need for common standard certification

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Goakhabar: Stakeholders of the Indian seafood industry today voiced the need for a common standard certification to allay the burden of costs and effort in acquiring multiple certifications to remain credible in the business.

The issue was discussed during the technical session held on Sunday as part of the 21st edition of the biennial India International Seafood Show organized by the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA and the Seafood Export Association of India (SEAI)

Adding to the difficulties was the demand by individual countries to adhere to their certifications and the cumbersome process for companies to prepare and maintain records of all certifications, they said.

However, many admitted that certification was a necessary assurance for end consumers.

Mr Chandrajith, Director, Wimpey Laboratories, Kuwait, said, “Certification  not only ensures the quality and credibility, but also brand awareness, which in turn can bring several positive outcomes for the company, such as improved client relationship, rise in prices and the like.”

He also elaborated on various certifications like Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), a standard approach to food safety from biological, chemical, and physical hazards, ISO 9001: 2015,  British Retail Consortium (BRC) and others. Mr. Chandrajith added that certifications such as ISO 9001: 2008, that were no longer valid, needed to be removed from the products and related materials.

Mr. Yoshiyuki Shige, Senior Executive, Managing Director, Japan Fisheries Association, spoke about the importance of eco-labelling in a separate session.

“Marine eco-labels are marks attached to fishery products to indicate that they have been caught by a method that gives consideration to the sustainability of ecosystem and resources with an aim to promote customer understanding of resource management,” he said.

Mr. Shige further noted that the purpose of the label is to support conservation efforts of fish producers by promoting their products. Their efforts are essential to ensuring sustainable fisheries into the future, he said.