How to make seafood traceability a priority - SmartBrief

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How to make seafood traceability a priority

2 min read

Restaurant and Foodservice

Crab shacks of the world, look ahead! Restaurants that prepare and sell seafood should consider taking actions toward seafood traceability now, before food-safety legislation requires traceability and other standards.

While speaking at the NRA Show 2010 in Chicago, Barton Seaver, a D.C.-based chef and advocate of sustainability, explored how to tackle this complex issue with nonprofits and solutions providers.

If sustainable seafood products have so many benefits — including protecting seafood populations, feeding healthy proteins packed with omega-3s to future generations and helping businesses’ bottom lines — why aren’t more restaurants implementing the systems?

The reasons are just as varied as seafood supply chains. Challenges that are stymieing some restaurateurs include:

  • The perceived cost. Restaurants that implement traceability systems actually increase sales by building customer loyalty and retaining employees who are trained about certified seafood. Restaurants are already receiving the products and undergoing inspections, so they should take the time to ensure their products are safe. Group certification is another way that could help your seafood restaurant cut costs when implementing traceability systems.
  • Language/geography. The supply chain is global, which may initially appear to be a hurdle, but these barriers can be broken through using solution providers, such as TraceTracker and Trace Register, and organizations that have systems for efficiencies in place.

Here are three things restaurants need to get started:

  1. Get access to information. The Marine Stewardship Council, the Sustainability Fisheries Partnership and Seafood Choices Alliance are good places to start.
  2. Engage with the supply chain. Know that collaboration is key. Hold your distribution network accountable to provide quality and sustainable products.
  3. Find an entry point. Get executive sponsorship and find experts who can help (especially your peers who are already telling their sustainability stories to customers).

For more information on how to boost your business through sustainability, sign up for SmartBrief on Sustainability and tell us your sustainability story.

Image credit: matka_Wariatka, via iStockphoto