Maine shellfish dealers get clearance to use marketing seal
The State of Maine Quality trademark is now available for shellfish harvested in Maine, thanks to a special modification of rules by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry.
While other agriculture producers in Maine have been able to use the state’s quality trademark on their products for years, the state hadn’t previously allowed shellfish dealers to use the logo.
“Maine shellfish dealers meet an extremely high standard for health and safety and deserve credit for providing consumers with a consistently exceptional product,” Department of Marine Resources Public Health Bureau Director Kohl Kanwit said. “The Maine trademark will give consumers an immediately recognizable symbol that communicates the Maine shellfish industry’s commitment to quality.”
The Quality Maine Trademark symbol, which is a silhouette of the State of Maine divided into three horizontal sections in red, white, and blue, may be used in advertising or packaging materials to market molluscan shellfish including mussels, clams, oysters that have been harvested exclusively in Maine.
The idea to establish standards for the shellfish industry came from the Department of Marine Resources’ Shellfish Advisory Council.
“We’ve seen other industries like lobster use a seal of approval such as the Marine Stewardship Council’s certification to help their marketing efforts,” Council Chair Lewis Pinkham said. “We looked at all sorts of avenues to help tell customers that this industry is sustainable and meets the highest standards, and it turned out that the Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry had it in place.”
Licensed users to the logo must have a product recall procedure and must be compliant with applicable federal and state regulations. They must also hold a current and valid Shellfish Sanitation Certificate issued by the Department of Marine Resources, make health inspection records from DMR available for review, and allow DACF staff to inspect and analyze all product labeled with the trademark.