Traceable shrimp from Seafresh to hit Marks and Spencer shelves
New traceable, “farm-to-fork” traceable shrimp will soon be sold at Marks and Spencer stores in the United Kingdom, international seafood producer Seafresh announced at Seafood Expo North America in Boston, Massachusetts, 19 to 21 March.
Seafresh, based in Bangkok, Thailand, partnered with DNA traceability company IdentiGEN on the “TraceBack” program, which is already available for meat products. A DNA sample taken from a female shrimp can be used to trace all of its progeny back to its farm of origin, through the use of “nature’s barcode,” Seafresh explained.
“The system can also be used to trace shrimp post-cooking, or further processing, where considerable co-mingling of production from different species can occur,” the company said.
Seafresh is buying the shrimp from Central America, and then processing it in the United Kingdom. The TraceBack program will also be used to help promote ethical labor practices, which have been a hot-button issue in the shrimp industry.
“Our industry has been dogged by claims of child labor, poor production practices and use of unapproved feeding regimes,” said Seafresh CEO Lasse Hansen. “The unprecedented levels of supply chain transparency will help us convey more effectively to our customers and the consumer the care we take to meet the growing consumer expectations for a top quality, sustainable and ethically-sourced shrimp.”
“With its complex global supply chain, the shrimp industry has been subject to high profile controversy in recent years for poor quality, excessive use of antibiotics and reports of human trafficking, slave and child labor,” said Ronan Loftus, co-founder and director of IdentiGEN. “This program will give guaranteed transparency to both retailer and consumer that what they are buying is sourced from approved sources and meets highest standards in terms of production practices.”