New traceable fish label and mobile app launched in Hong Kong

The Fish Marketing Organization alongside the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) announced on 7 September the launch of a new traceable, QR-code enabled fish tag to be applied to all items produced by fish farms associated with the Accredited Fish Farm Scheme (AFFS).

The tags, which bear the certification mark of AFFS on one side and a traceable QR code on the other, allow Hong Kong consumers to use their mobile phones to scan the sticker and obtain relevant information about the product – such as the origin of the fishery product, its safety test results and the contact number for the fish farm that supplied it – by way of a corresponding mobile app, “Local Fresh.”

Each fish farm approved by AFFS – there are 120 fish farms under the scheme as of now – must pass food safety assurance tests to rule out the presence of malachite green, drug residues and unsafe levels of heavy metals; AFCD is often charged with these routine inspections of AFFS fish farms, collecting pre-market fish samples to ensure adherence. Consumers, by scanning the new fish tags with the Local Fresh app, will be able to review the results of tests like these, noted the organization.

AFCD hopes that the new fish tag will boost consumer confidence in AFFS products and highlight the brand, the department said in a press conference held at Seafood Expo Asia in Hong Kong at the Hong Kong Convention & Exposition Center. The AFFS brand is one that promotes good aquaculture practices, the standardization of production processes and overall, aims to provide the public with quality, safe aquaculture products while assisting dedicated fish farms in gaining a competitive edge.

“With each fish assigned with a unique serial code to facilitate the public to search for its origins, the tag resembles identity proof of fish,” said AFCD.

The Local Fresh app, controlled by the Fish Marketing Organization, aside from offering the QR code scanner, also serves as a “one-stop local premium fish ordering platform.” Hong Kong consumers can use the app to secure free delivery of seafood products to designated residential and business addresses for a one-time fee of HK 500 (USD 64; EUR 57) or more. The app also provides information on local fishery products, product promotions and savory fish recipes, said FMO. The organization monitors and controls the whole food supply chain closely for the app.

AFFS was started back in 2005 by AFCD. The press conference was moderated and attended by Mickey LAI, Assistant Director (Fisheries) for AFCD, and AU Ka Kit, General Manager for FMO. 

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