After the introductory considerations on the complex subject of the buyer’s requirements in the broad context of the European Union’s and EFTA’s fish and seafood market and the following presentation of the “niche” category of requirements, this article marks once again a paradigm shift towards 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. Therefore, as a logical conclusion, for the producer or intermediary that wants to gain entry on this particularly productive market, their brand of product must be on equal footing with the brands of the competition, and, as such, an intimate knowledge of this category of requirements becomes, if not mandatory, then highly advisable.
A recently published market research study put together by the CBI (“Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries”) and The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands lists as the first and foremost amongst the “common” category of the buyer’s requirements in the larger context of the European Union’s and EFTA’s fish and seafood market the need for food safety certification as extra guarantee. Being a top priority on all food distribution sectors of any market, many distributors and retailers will request from their potential suppliers, most of them producers that wish to gain access to this specific market sector, extra guarantees in the form of a food safety certification, that requires in turn the implementation of a food safety management system that is recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).
The aforementioned study goes on to state that, as a second item of the “common” category of buyer’s requirements, “a product’s traceability is increasingly important with regard to both captured and cultured fish”. This issue, in turn, requires, much like the need for food safety certification, the implementation of a system for tracing and tracking that will provide fish and seafood buyers, retailers and distributors with information regarding the precise origin of the product in question. But there is an upside to all this, seeing that the aforementioned CBI study states that “third party verification is offered by certification systems (chain of custody certification) such as MSC.” Corporate responsibility and sustainability labels for fishery products are two other items on the “common” category of buyer’s requirements list, and will be the focus of our next article. Stay tuned.
Image courtesy of McPig – Some rights reserved
© www.bestfoodimporters.com 2014