In our previous installment of this multi-part article for the Best Wine Importers website, we’ve offered an overall presentation of product’s traceability and food safety certification topics in the larger context of the buyer requirements for the European Union’s and EFTA’s fish and seafood market, topics that belong to the “common” category of requirements – widespread requirements were are already taken into consideration and implemented by the majority of fish and seafood distributors and retailers. As promised, we will now shift our attention upon following topics from this category of buyer’s requirements, namely the topic of the corporate responsibility and the topic of sustainability labels for fishery products.
A widespread buyers attitude that is more emphasized in the northern countries of the Western Europe is an increased interest and attention towards the corporate responsibilities regarding the social and environmental impact of their business. This attitude, attention and interest also affects the fish and seafood market suppliers in more ways than one, including but not limited to the obligation of signing of a suppliers’ code of conduct. For example, all the fish and seafood market suppliers that target the The United Kingdom market must familiarize themselves with the ETI base code and check what ETI members require from their suppliers. In other countries of the western and north-western Europe, Business Social Compliance Initiative plays a similar role.
Sustainability labels for fishery products is another topic that gains interest and is becoming mainstream in many European markets, mainly in western and northern countries, including the Netherlands and Germany. The aforementioned recently published market research study of CBI (“Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries”) and The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands states that “For wild-caught fishery products, MSC is the major certification scheme, whereas ASC and GlobalGAP are the most important certification scheme for aquaculture”. Please consult our existing and future editorial featurettes dedicated to these certification schemes for additional details.
Furthermore, please take note that “large retailers make public commitments on sustainable sourcing policies.” If your business plan is to supply such large retail chains, besides contacting them with the invaluable aid provided by our database in conjunction with a professional newsletter delivery software, you must pay a lot of attention towards more sustainable fishery practices and certification. The “sine qua non” category of the European buyer’s requirements shall be the focus of our following installments from now on.
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