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New Funding For Seafood Companies

Sustainability Marketing Economics +5 more

SCOTLAND, UK - Seafood Scotland announced it is to undertake a major programme in the Aberdeenshire area until the end of March 2013. With support from Aberdeenshire Council and the European Fisheries Fund, the programme will provide funding to help seafood companies raise their standards.

The aim of the project is to support the sustainable economic growth of Scotlands seafood industry, with a particular focus on Fraserburgh, Peterhead, Banffand Buchan, and help to maximise the value of the catch.

With increased pressure on margins, processors recognise the need to implement quality standards that help to minimise wastage and maximise efficiencies, says Business Development Manager Ian Land.

The new programme will focus on helping businesses to achieve and maintain the Safe and Local Supplier Accreditation (SALSA) or the British Retail Consortium (BRC) Accreditation, which in turn will raise overall standards, he added.

Companies will also be able to apply for assistance to undertake the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Chain of Custody audit, enabling them to handle product from the growing number of Scottish certified fisheries in order to meet market demand for sustainably certified seafood.

For example ASDA has made a commitment that by 2012, all seafood sold in stores must be sourced from MSC fisheries or equivalent.

The new funding package means that Seafood Scotland can financially support up to 23 Aberdeenshire seafood businesses. These will be encouraged to engage an external provider to assist with the pre-audit and audit process.

Companies aiming for SALSA accreditation will be able to claim up to 1,000 in assistance, whilst those going for BRC or MSC accreditation can claim up to 1,500.

BRC and SALSA are formal food industry standards and are recognised by most major European and UK food retailers and UK food service suppliers, Mr Land explained.

By achieving a formal level of accreditation, seafood businesses can prove to suppliers that they operate to a particular quality and food safety standard. The trading value of such accreditation is highly valuable and should not be underestimated, he concluded.