Building trust in “brand Australia”
Seafood Industry Australia (SIA) has been awarded a $267,000 Australian government grant to boost consumer confidence in Aussie seafood through a seafood traceability initiative. Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud and Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Jonathon Duniam say that the investment will boost export opportunities.
“With this funding, SIA will develop a closed loop ‘trust mark’; a visually recognisable label for packaging that can be scanned with a smartphone, like a QR code,” Littleproud says. “This will indicate to consumers that the product they’re buying is 100 percent traceable Australian seafood, which they can verify digitally.”
Assistant Minister Duniam says the technology will improve opportunities to access international markets as well as promoting Australian seafood locally.
“By deploying these trust marks, we can verify our seafood in the domestic market and shore up our brand overseas,” Duniam says. “Unfortunately, seafood is a market where fraudulent products can significantly devalue exports, but advancements like this will help our seafood industry to better use traceability to set their product apart.”
It’s hoped the new tech will also help Australians easily identify home-grown seafood, providing a boost to the Great Australian Seafood, Easy As campaign launched last year.
“We’ve been working to build brand awareness within Australia,” says SIA CEO Veronica Papacosta. “Now it’s time to turn our focus to international markets. We’re starting by testing the technology and hope it will then be rolled out to the entire industry.”
The program will pilot digital traceability using Austral Fisheries Glacier 51 Toothfish – winner of Best Sustainable Seafood Product at the 2020 and 2021 Sustainable Seafood Awards – as the case study, using Laava Smart Fingerprints as the on-package trust mark. Each fingerprint is a serialised, scannable mark that’s unique to each individual product.
Importantly, this is technology that can be used by other industries outside of seafood.
“Greater traceability for Australian produce will underpin confidence in brand Australia in export markets,” Papacosta says.