Ensuring traceability in the seafood supply chain – Fishupdate.com

Ensuring traceability in the seafood supply chain Published:  23 August, 2007

THE Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has announced that TÜV NORD Group in Germany has been accredited to carry out audits and issue certificates to the MSC Chain of Custody standard.

TÜV NORD is the eleventh certifier worldwide and the second in Germany to receive accreditation, allowing them to issue certificates for companies that meet the MSC Chain of Custody standard.

Chain of Custody certification ensures full traceability of the fish back to its original source and gives buyers the assurance that the fish comes from a well-managed and sustainable fishery that is certified to the MSC environmental standard.

In recent years, it has been said that intensified fishing pressure and increased illegal, unregulated and unreported catches have led to a sharp decline in fish stocks. The future of millions of people, relying on the fishing industry for their livelihoods, is therefore reportedly at stake. In the light of this development, fish and seafood provenance has become increasingly important, since it allows customers to make responsible purchasing decisions. The blue MSC eco-label on fish and seafood products enables processors, retailers and consumers alike to identify fish that has been caught by a well-managed and sustainable fishery, says the MSC.

Certifiers such as TÜV NORD make sure that the MSC claim holds true through the supply chain. Risk assessments, inspections of production facilities, reviews of delivery, processing and shipment handling as well as record keeping are part of the certification process. Every company in the supply chain that wishes to display the MSC eco-label on products from certified fisheries needs to successfully accomplish an audit against the MSC Chain of Custody standard before it can be certified.

Volker Klosowski, Member of the Executive Board at TÜV NORD, comments on the company’s involvement. “We are very glad to be accredited for chain of custody certifications to the MSC standard. Helping to protect the environment is very important for us as a responsible company. MSC is a reasonable way to make fish and seafood provenance clear to consumers and allows companies to verify their awareness of sustainability issues.”

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