May 23, 2023

New FDA Seafood Traceability Guidelines - We're here to help

Sophie Hunter-James
Director – SFS Trace

The FDA has released traceability guidelines that brings fantastic news for both businesses and consumers in the seafood industry. These guidelines mandate the tracing of seafood products from harvest to their final destination, ensuring complete transparency throughout the product’s journey. With compliance deadlines varying based on business size, it’s important to note that these guidelines are now in effect.

Seafood Industry Challenges

Seafood, being the most traded food commodity worldwide, has long been plagued by issues like fraud, mislabeling, and illegal fishing practices. In a strive to combat this the FDA has now adopted Key Data Elements (KDEs) set by the Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability (GDST) a standardized framework for seafood traceability. Adopting these guidelines at a country level will play a vital role in combatting industry-wide fraud and unsustainable practices.

FDA Standards and International Requirements

The FDA’s commitment to adhering to these standards ensures that both domestically produced and imported seafood products provide traceability that meets international requirements. This alignment aims to enhance food safety, help combat Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing; and help to instill confidence in consumers. A growing consumer trend we’ve seen since the launch of documentaries like Seaspiracy as well as the 2020 Global pandemic bringing to light the dangers of opacity in the supply chain.

Unlocking Opportunities with Traceability Technology

The advantages of embracing traceability technology extends far beyond FDA compliance. Fisheries and aquaculture producers can enhance their reputation, gain consumer trust, and unlock new market opportunities by providing verifiable information regarding species authenticity, sustainable fishing methods, and precise catch locations.

Benefits for the Seafood Industry

These new requirement set by the FDA will contribute significantly to a sustainable future for our oceans, promoting fair trade, reducing illegal fishing practices, and combatting seafood fraud. It also allows the fisheries and seafood producers who are implementing best practices to get the credibility and visibility they deserve while also exposing the ones that don’t.

79% of seafood consumers in the United States are willing to pay more for seafood that can be traced back to its source

Source: WWF, “Tracing the Journey of Sustainable Seafood in the US

Start your Traceability Journey

Do you require assistance in meeting the new FDA traceability requirements? As a GDST-approved traceability solution provider we specialize in assisting businesses to seamlessly comply with the new FDA guidelines as well as an option to promote your brand product and practices all the way to the end consumer.

Together, let’s work towards a more transparent, sustainable, and responsible seafood industry. Join us in our commitment to creating a future where consumers can make informed choices, businesses thrive, and our oceans flourish. Contact us today to begin your journey towards FDA compliance and a traceable seafood supply chain.

Useful links:

FDA Final Rule on Requirements for Additional Traceability Records for Certain Foods

Sophie Hunter-James
Director – SFS Trace

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