RoyPalmerSnippets from Down Under is authored by Roy Palmer. Since 1972, Roy Palmer has been involved trading seafood and other food products and has traveled the world extensively.

While at Seafood Expo North America in Boston I went to the conference session “The Future of Seafood Regulations Post FSMA.” This was led by Benjamin England, the CEO of U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Imports.com – an FDA consulting firm serving clients in over 90 countries with FDA regulatory and compliance services. England was joined by a panel consisting of Troy Petrillo, FDA/ORA Investigation Branch in the New England District Office supervisor with responsibility for import...

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I bumped into Australian John Curtain and had a great chat about his business, FloatPac Pty Ltd, which is quite unique.

The organization is proudly 100 percent Australian owned and operated and specializes in the manufacture of equipment used in the transport of live fish and fingerlings via air, road and rail freight -- an ever-increasing business.

They have created ‘The FishPac system’ which operates by sustaining live aquatic animals with oxygen. The oxygen flows from an approved...

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Well the 6 March has arrived and it’s back to SENA in Boston and surprisingly the weather is on the improve. Having said that I am not at my best - you might call it suffering from climate change. This is the difficulty of travel, changes in temperature and air conditioning.

So the first person I am going to mention today is Andrejus Radzevicius, Managing Director, Premier Seafood who is from Norway and on a mission in Boston.

We all have much to learn from Norway and the seafood people –...

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Fish dinner

Wishing all our industry a great start to Lent on 10 February - it is not something that gets promoted by our industry as much as it should, but I learned a few years ago from some special marketers that we really should take up the prospect.

I never appreciated how important Lent was until I got involved in fish retailing back in the early 90’s. We had not prepared anything specific for Ash Wednesday following Shrove/Pancake Tuesday and we were inundated with customers and there was enormous...

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Looking Forward sunset

As I write this I am in Melbourne, Australia. It’s a balmy 31 degrees Celsius as I cast my eyes out of the window looking at Port Phillip Bay and thinking about the future of seafood in this country.

Port Phillip Bay has been a commercial fishery for some 170 years and is still a good consistent contributor to the state of Victoria’s statistics. There are now 43 SME businesses in the primary sector plying their skills in the Bay and from them the produce goes through the fish market, the...

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A 1.5 day workshop ‘Increasing Public Understanding and Acceptance of Aquaculture – the role of truth, transparency and transformation’ has just completed in Vigo, Spain following the Conxemar Exhibition and FAO celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries.

This workshop was coordinated by FAO within a partnership of the Global Salmon Initiative (GSI) and IDH Sustainable Trade Initiative and was supported by about 40 participants.

Arni Mathiesen...

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A TV investigation by an ABC program, Four Corners, has revealed that Australian food is being picked, packed and processed by exploited workers and that supermarkets involved (including Woolworths, Coles, Aldi, IGA and Costco) have been benefiting from what they called “extreme labour exploitation, slave-like conditions and black market labor gangs.” Fast-food outlets KFC and Red Rooster were also implicated in the Four Corners program.

If we scratched the surface in other so-called...

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This could be a headline about why you would choose Australian fish over another and be a strong positive article about the industry….. but alas, it is a tale of woe that highlights how an industry constantly fails by not working collaboratively.

My sense of being involved in this industry for over 40 years is that things are probably at a major low.

In Australia, where you have a small population (24 million) in a country nearly as big as the USA; where you have a food retailing sector...

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The USA is ‘treading water’ relating to seafood sales, according to recent excellent research by US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Food Science and Nutrition and Centre for Exercise, Nutrition, and Health Sciences entitled ‘Intake of Seafood in the US Varies by Age, Income, and Education Level but Not by Race-Ethnicity’.

The report highlights that while seafood consumption is increasing in many parts of the world, and some countries have made commitments regarding...

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Supermarkets and other large buyers of seafood have been a driver of certification to move the burden on many issues to the supplier, and this has been both good and bad.

In the case of food safety, one of the most important -- if not the most important – issue is that many of these large buyers created the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).

GFSI, according to their website, provides thought leadership and guidance on food safety management system controls necessary to assure the safety...

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