SeaFood Business

JUN 2014

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News Recap Direct QUOTE In the high harvest season, when there are tons of oysters out there and prices fall, people will say, 'What's going on? People aren't loving oysters!' But the answer is, 'No, that's not the problem. There's just a whole lot out of oysters out there now, Bubba.' — Greg Voisin, VP-marketing, Motivatit Seafoods (see Top Story, page 22) 8 SeaFood Business June 2014 For updated NEWS, go to www.SeafoodSource.com T he longstanding efort to get the U.S. Department of Ag- riculture to approve standards for organic seafood production took a major setback in late April during a National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting in San Antonio. In a letter to the Aquaculture Working Group (AWG) that he chairs, aquaculture ex- pert George Lockwood said a "hostile atmo- sphere permeated the NOSB members" due to unilateral decisions to change the approval process for synthetic materi- als and a "well-organized anti-aquaculture efort" by known opponents. Lockwood said that, behind the scenes, "AWG was badly smeared and we are seen as a tool for commercial fsh farmers." Groups like the Organic Consumers As- sociation, the National Organic Coalition, Consumers Union, Cor- nucopia, Food and Water Watch, the Center for Food Safety and Be- yond Pesticides were all present and spoke against salmon net pens and the use of any synthetic materials in aquaculture. AWG had petitioned for the use of vaccines and chlorine in culture water. And when the use of vaccines, chlorine and even vita- mins was questioned, AWG was not present to address those concerns. "In my mind, all of this is due to the unwillingness of [National Organic Program Deputy Ad- ministrator] Miles McEvoy to allow the AWG to do its job of providing expert advice to NOSB on aquaculture matters," continued Lockwood. "AWG was assigned by NOP in 2009 the task of prepar- ing petitions for essential materials, and then when NOSB began their work, we were deliberately prohib- ited from interacting with them." AWG is now viewed in a "negative and hostile light," he added. "We have not been allowed to build cred- ibility. During the peri- od from 2005 and 2010 when we worked closely with NOSB members in de- veloping the recommend- ed rules, we were able to build considerable confdence and credibil- ity. Without our partici- pation whatsoever, this good working relationship is missing and has caused consid- erable damage. "During the meeting [McEvoy] told the board that he now plans to have their proposed Final Rule for aquaculture posted by 'the end of the year.' We heard this same com- ment in 2012, 2013 and now 2014. I have considerable doubts if that will happen." It is unclear what will happen with the work of AWG and NOSB members who have pushed for USDA Organic seafood standards for almost a decade. "Without AWG experts being in- cluded in telephone conference calls," Lockwood wrote, "NOSB members will continue to be paranoid about aquaculture." — James Wright In BRIEF The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that U.S. commercial and recreational saltwater fshing income generated more than $199 billion in sales in 2012, a gain of 7 percent over 2011. The Status of U.S. Fisheries 2013 report also revealed that seven stocks were removed from the "overfshing" list, meaning their populations were in danger, while four more were removed from the "overfshed" list, which lists stocks that have a low biomass. U.S. food company Hillshire Brands Co. acquired Pinnacle Foods, which produces a number of well-known frozen food products including the Mrs. Paul's and Van de Kamp's frozen seafood lines, in a deal worth $6.6 billion. The combined company will operate under the Hillshire Brands name and will be headquartered in Chicago. Sean Connolly, Hillshire's current president and CEO, will remain president and CEO of the combined company. New Hampshire-based canned and packaged seafood company EcoFish partnered with the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program, pledging to sell only environmentally responsible seafood. "This is a commitment every seafood company in North America should be making, to assure plentiful fsh stocks for future generations," says Henry Lovejoy, company president and founder. Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) of Seattle released The Seafood Industry Guide to FIPs about how to run a fsheries improvement project. "We really believe that the seafood industry is in the best position to lead fshery improvement projects and we want to provide all the support that we can to help them do that," says SFP's Blake Lee-Harwood. Norway is considering a national seafood sustainability certifcation program to compete with private international organizations like the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). Bjørg Nøstvold at the Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research says there may be "challenges associated with choosing not to use the MSC system." Norway-based aquaculture frm Grieg Seafood is discontinuing trout production in its Finnmark division and Pacifc salmon in British Columbia, Canada, to focus on "producing Atlantic salmon in all regions," according to the company's 2013 annual report. SAN ANTONIO, Texas U.S. organic seafood hopes suffer setback Facts & FIGURES 7.28 Score earned by Whole Foods Market from Greenpeace in its eighth annual "Carting Away the Oceans" report (7 and up is "good") 4 Retailers that earned a "good" score; others included Safeway, Wegmans and longtime Greenpeace nemesis, Trader Joe's 1.06 The lowest score that Greenpeace gave, to Roundy's of Milwaukee, which ranked last of all 26 retailers surveyed 08_15Newsrecap June sfb.indd 8 5/20/14 11:15 AM

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