Data loading...

FOS Implements On Land Monitoring To Assure Traceability

Friend of the Sea (FOS) has announced the implementation of an onsite permanent international monitoring program that aims to provide constant lot-by-lot origin verification of the products carrying its eco-label.

The verification will be performed independently from the third parties certification bodies’ auditions. Next April, FOS will hire 4 local monitors to check the fish lots when offloaded at harbors, stored, processed and shipped in the following countries: Philippines, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.

The number of monitors per company will be decided considering the number of harbors where seafood certified by Friend of the Sea is offloaded: “The processing companies could be purchasing their raw material one day from an auction and another day from another auction, since FOS auditing verifies if the fisheries is in compliance to its criteria, we need to check on a daily basis that the origin of the fish is the approved one”, stated Paolo Bray, director of the FOS.

In addition, Mr. Bray stated that before the summer 2009 FOS will be hiring one monitor in Morocco and it’s also likely to be hiring another one in South America: “We didn’t want to mention that there are some critical areas on what comes to traceability, therefore, certain areas are priority one, but the objective is to have monitors in all the areas”, he added.

FOS feels that the onsite monitoring is the only way to make a credible statement to the consumers. The project was decided last month and the organization intends to work progressively in placing monitors in all countries covered by its certification.

Besides the checks on harbors, FOS will provide periodic inspections on factories as well. The data will be reported by the monitors on a monthly basis through an online tool, to make the sharing of information faster and more efficient.

The monitoring system being applied doesn’t cover overseas transshipment. Mr. Bray stated that the RFMOs and local authorities should be the ones addressing the issue, but that by having monitors on harbors it will help to acquire information on that matter from fishermen.

“If the product is not coming from a certified origin, and hasn’t been processed yet, we will request companies to not use it. If they have already been processed, the final product cannot receive the Friend of the Sea label” Mr. Bray finalized.