Louisiana Certified Seafood Programme intends to create a unified brand for fresh shrimp and other products. (Photo: louisianaseafoodnews/LDWF)
Louisiana launches its very own seafood brand
Friday, October 12, 2012, 23:30 (GMT + 9)
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) launched the Louisiana Certified Seafood Programme. This origin-based certification programme seeks to create a unified brand that will attract consumers and also food service and seafood distribution buyers.
The department is working in coordination with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, LSU AgCenter, Louisiana SeaGrant, Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board and fisheries industry leaders to this end.
“Consumers are paying more attention to their seafood choices, particularly where it’s from and how it’s sourced. People are demanding transparency in the seafood industry, so we’re giving it to them,” explained LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina.
The programme uses recommendations from the Louisiana Shrimp Task Force, created by Governor Jindal in 2009, to set rules and guidelines throughout the supply chain, enabling the state to certify that “Louisiana Certified Seafood” is taken, landed and processed in the state.
The programme targets Louisiana fishers, processors, dock owners, grocers and restaurants, to showcase and brand Louisiana seafood.
“In the coming years, we hope Louisiana wild-caught shrimp, oyster, crabs and finfish will be synonymous with our great state and the Louisiana Certified Seafood Brand,” LDWF wrote.
DHH Secretary Bruce D Greenstein said this certification stamp informs consumers that they are consuming “authentic Louisiana seafood that is held to the highest standards and strictest inspections in the world.”
Programme goals include:
- Developing a nationally recognized brand that distinguishes Louisiana-sourced seafood;
- Certifying and increasing consumer confidence that branded seafood is from the Gulf of Mexico, landed, processed and packaged in Louisiana;
- Promoting and marketing all participants and seafood labelled with this logo.
The Product Eligibility Requirements include that the product must be available upon request for inspection and DNA sampling to ensure that certification standards are being followed, and that seafood must be harvested wild from the Gulf of Mexico or Gulf Coast waters and cannot be commingled with seafood from another stock.
All commercially licensed fishers automatically qualify for the programme, which is voluntary and docks, processors, dealers, grocers and restaurants can apply to receive a Louisiana Certified Seafood permit.
Fresh Product dealers, docks and processors must complete a brief online training.
"Louisiana restaurants have long served the bounty of fresh seafood from the rich waters of Louisiana and the Gulf, but until now, a certification programme had not been developed," declared Stan Harris, President/CEO of the Louisiana Restaurant Association. "Shrimp, crab, oysters, crawfish and finfish have held prized positioning on restaurant menus and have been the ingredients for which Louisiana has become known for worldwide."
By Natalia Real