Food safety is becoming an increasingly important issue for any food industry. Consumers are ever more wary about their health and need to be assured that their fish is healthy and safe to eat.
Fish is a highly perishable product if not handled correctly. Post-harvest handling must therefore be optimised, and quality assurance systems are a way to reduce post harvest losses and maximise the value of the catch. This is even more important in a context of dwindling resources and helps to improve the sustainability of the industry as a whole.
Compliance with quality assurance systems is a requirement from most of the EU retail chains. Nevertheless it is often hard for the industry to know which system is the most appropriate and useful for their production. EUROFISH sees its role in assisting the industry to navigate through the jungle of different certification schemes such as ISO22000, BRC - British Retail Consortium, IFS - International Food Standard, MSC - Marine Stewardship Council, Friends of the Sea and other environmental certificates.
The key to food safety and quality assurance systems is traceability. Traceability lies at the heart of any certification system: without traceability, quality or safety cannot be ensured to the customer. EUROFISH has state of the art in house expertise in this area and can therefore conduct relevant courses and training all over Europe.
With the cooperation and support of the authorities in the member countries, FAO and other partners, Eurofish has developed various training programmes in the area of quality assurance (including seafood safety, HACCP audits, traceability). In addition, EUROFISH has been instrumental in assisting the countries in central and eastern Europe to prepare for EU accession.
EUROFISH capitalises on the experience gained over the years to foster the development of an industry which meets international safety and quality standards. Several courses and training activities have been developed over the years, covering the safety chain all the way from pre-requisite programmes to final audit compliance workshops.