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Setting seafood standards from water to waiter.



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Media Release

The Hon Ian Macfarlane MP Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources 06/271

13 July 2006

SETTING SEAFOOD STANDARDS FROM

WATER TO WAITER

National industry standards to better trace Australian seafood from 'water to waiter' are being reinforced with today's launch of four publications to assist the industry in areas like packaging, transport and biosecurity.

In Brisbane today Australian Industry Minister, Ian Macfarlane, launched the “how to” guides which have been developed by Seafood Services Australia with an Australian Government innovation grant of $253,000.

"We all want assurance that the barramundi on our plate is Australian and, in fact, a barramundi. It's the good name of the domestic seafood sector at stake and the industry is taking up the challenge to protect that reputation."

"Seafood is an important part of the Australian diet and it's also our fourth most valuable food-based primary industry with a value of more than $2 billion a year, employing more than 80,000 people," said Mr

Macfarlane.

"So we couldn't afford for the industry to have a health upset which would cost jobs and exports. These new guides are there to help the sector better track Australian seafood from the ocean all the way to the restaurant table."

"Seafood Services Australia is working to protect the good name of Australian seafood and our branding, by making sure the entire industry takes responsibility for meeting international food security criteria."

"The guides provide easy-to-follow tools to help the industry access the most suitable packaging and processing options to extend the shelf life of our seafood and improve the total biosecurity of the Australian product," he said.

Issues covered in the four guides include supply chain development, trade and market access, food safety and quality, environmental management systems, and occupational health and safety.

Seafood Services Australia is a not-for-profit organisation established by the Australian Seafood Industry Council and the Fisheries R&D Corporation.

Contacts: Kirsty Boazman, Macfarlane office, (07) 3001 8110 or

0412 171 444 Ted Loveday, Seafood Services Australia, 0427 323 663