British Columbia shellfish body taps BlueTrace for traceability

The British Columbia Shellfish Growers Association (BCSGA) will work with technology provider BlueTrace to provide track and trace for its members' shipments.

The Canadian province is a major source of shellfish, and according to Canada's national regulations licensed producers are required to comply with a number of requirements relating to product traceability, logging importation, transfer, harvest, relay, and wet storage.

Main-based BlueTrace has developed a digital platform that uses iPhone apps, mobile printers and waterproof labels with QR codes to tag up shipments and – according to the company – takes the hassle out of complying with the traceability process.

"A well-run farm requires good records, but government mandated tags are expensive, handwriting often unreadable, and logbooks are sometimes out of date or missing," it says.

"By some estimates, over 20 per cent of inventory is mis-tagged [and] businesses not in compliance face fines and/or the loss of their license."

The company notes that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, in line with regulatory bodies the world over, are stepping up requirements for supply chain traceability to help prevent and react to outbreaks of shellfish diseases such as vibriosis and norovirus.

"It is important for the industry to stay vigilant in a time of rising temperatures," said Nico Prins, executive director of BCSGA.

"A digitised traceability system for the entire industry raises the bar on food safety and ensures that our members can build their businesses without drowning in paperwork," he added.

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