Norway on track with traceability

The Norwegian Seafood Federation held a press conference on Tuesday at the European Seafood Exposition to announce the development of a new seafood identification system that will have all Norwegian seafood under one tracking label.

In January 2010, the Norwegian Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs introduced a labeling requirement that includes catch and harvest date on fresh seafood. Since then, no national or international standard for labeling has been introduced.

According to a Norwegian Seafood Federation investigation, only 14 percent of bar codes are without faults and are able to be read by electronic systems and 45 percent cannot be read at all.

Under the slogan “One code, fast traceability, safe and healthy,” the Norwegian Seafood Federation, Innovation Norway, Standard Norway, the Norwegian Seafood Association and other participants launched the “Seafood with a Story” project to develop a single labeling- and coding-system of distribution and transport units for seafood products. The standard will be approved on 21 May.

Standard Norway is in the process of developing a new standard that will define the minimum size of the label and prescribe the information to be printed.

“It is very important that the standard get approved,” said Alf Helge Aarskog, CEO of Marine Harvest, which participated in the pilot project. “Up to 60 different labels are used today, and to reduce that to one saves a lot in terms of operations and secures safe food going forward.”


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