Norway’s seafood watchdog facing overhaul

salmon norway

NORWAY’S Food Safety Authority, the body whose responsibilities include regulating health issues on fish farms, is facing major changes following a highly critical report.

Following an investigation, the global services and accounting organisation KPMG delivered a potentially crushing verdict last week on the organisation, essentially saying its systems, planning and monitoring supervision practices were not fit for purpose.

KPMG also said that management, the use of resources and some aspects of security were simply not good enough, adding that significant improvements were urgently needed.

Seafood Norway, the body which represents fishing and aquaculture companies, has welcomed the report.

Its CEO, Geir Ove Ystmark, said Norway had market access to more than 140 countries so it was vital the seafood industry had an efficient and well-functioning food inspection body to watch over catching, processing and the entire value chain in the aquaculture sector.

Oslo has already appointed a new chief executive in Ingunn Midttun Godal who has just taken up her post.

She said: ‘The findings in this report are very serious and have revealed systematic weaknesses within the authority. We need to improve the way we work as an organisation.

‘It is too early for me to say why the authority has ended up in this situation. The most important thing for me to say is that we need to do something about it.’

There was a need, she said, to improve dialogue and communication with the industry. To help speed up improvements, Godal said she is setting up a special intervention group.

Seafood Norway said it look forward to a better dialogue in the future, adding it had already received an invitation to meet with the new chief executive.

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