Seafood products in Australia get “trust mark” boost with grant

A grant of AUD 267,000 (USD 207,000, EUR 170,000) has been awarded to Seafood Industry Australia (SIA) to enhance traceability in seafood products.

The announcement was made by Australian Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud and Australian Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Jonathon Duniam this week, with both saying the funding would boost export opportunities.

“With this funding, Seafood Industry Australia will develop a closed loop ‘trust mark’; a visually recognizable label for packaging that can be scanned with a smartphone, like a QR code,” Littleproud said. “This will indicate to consumers that the product they’re buying is 100 percent traceable Australian seafood, which they can verify digitally.”

The program is utilizing a digital traceability solution, initially using Austral Fisheries' Glacier51 Toothfish as the case study, the statement said.

It leverages Laava Smart Fingerprints as the on-package ‘trust mark,’ which is being described as a “visually recognizable code for packaging that can be scanned with a smartphone.”

Duniam said the technology adds value to the Australian seafood products, improving fishers’ and fish farmers’ opportunities to access international markets and promote Australian seafood locally.

“By deploying these trust marks, we can verify our Aussie seafood in the domestic market and shore up our brand overseas,” Duniam said. “Unfortunately, seafood is a market where fraudulent products can significantly devalue our exports, but new advancements like this will help our seafood industry to better use traceability and sustainability to set their product apart from the rest.”

The technology will also boost the Great Australian Seafood, Easy As campaign, which was created through a AUD 4 million (USD 2.9 million, EUR 2.5 million) federal government investment.

Seafood Industry Australia CEO Veronica Papacosta said the funding will better Australia’s reputation as a provider of quality seafood to both domestic and international markets.

“We’ve been working on building brand awareness within Australia of our great Australian seafood, and now it’s time to turn our focus to international markets,” Papacosta said.

Papacosta said after the pilot test, the aim is to roll out the technology to the entire industry.

“Importantly, this is a technology that can be used by other industries outside of seafood. Greater traceability for Australian produce will underpin confidence in brand Australia in export markets,” she said.  

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