Fish Names Brand Scheme to improve confidence in the seafood industry
What’s considered to be one of the most important developments for seafood consumers in over 200 years was launched today Australia-wide.
It is a program whereby seafood retailers displaying the “Approved Fish Names” logo guarantee to use nationally standardised fish names, helping to remove the confusion that reduces consumers confidence in purchasing seafood.
Mr Ted Loveday, Managing Director of Seafood Services Australia, believes today’s launch of the Fish Names Brand Scheme is a critically important innovation for both seafood businesses and consumers. “A lot of people in the seafood industry are very excited about this scheme,” Mr Loveday said. “It’s a breakthrough. It’s been a long time coming and will make a real difference to seafood retailing across the nation.”
The implementation by retailers in Sydney is the start of a change in the seafood industry, which will increase transparency for consumers and lead to an improved image for the seafood industry.
“It’s adoption by all the retailers at the Sydney Fish Market from today is just the beginning, and a very significant indication of how responsible retailers believe adopting the standard fish names scheme can benefit their business and help consumers,” Mr Loveday added. “The Sydney Fish Market is the largest seafood market in the country and all of the retailers there recognize the benefits of this scheme.
“By adopting the scheme and displaying the ‘Approved Fish Names’ logo in their premises, participating retail outlets can demonstrate to customers their commitment to the accurate use of names and labelling of fish. That will certainly give them a marketing edge.”
Mr Loveday said the SSA program would quell consumer worries, with the changes in the industry required to ensure long-term viability. “The scheme addresses the most important concern identified amongst seafood consumers in numerous surveys over the past two decades,” he claimed. “The consistent use of correct fish names, along with the accurate identification of the country of origin of the product, is essential for long-term consumer confidence.”
The scheme has been over six years in the making with extensive research and consultation sought before the creation of last year’s Fish Names Standard and the consequent Fish Names Brand Scheme. “The Australian Fish Names Standard AS SSA 5300-2007 defines one Standard Fish Name to be used for each seafood species produced or traded in Australia,” Mr Loveday explained. “The list was developed by SSA’s National Fish Names Committee through an extensive consultation process involving seafood experts, consumer representatives, fisheries managers and other stakeholders – a mammoth six-year project involving public consultation and the assigning of names for 4,500 seafood species – and was adopted by Standards Australia as an official Australian Standard in July 2007.”
“The SSA Fish Names Brand Scheme directly addresses accuracy in fish names. It provides positive incentives for seafood businesses to achieve and promote the use of correct fish names and accurate labelling through a recognised logo in which consumers can have confidence,” Mr Loveday concluded.