The Case for Traceability from the Global North to the Global South

The Case for Traceability from the Global North to the Global South

Jun 16, 2014
The Case for Traceability from the Global North to the Global South

ThisFish will be taking part in a panel discussion titled "Extending the Business Case for Traceability from the Global North to the Global South" at the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade 2014 conference in Brisbane, Australia, during the week of July 7 to 11. 


Concerns over seafood sustainability, food provenance, quality and safety, fraud, and illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing have led to an increase in traceability programs aimed at providing information about the identity and source of seafood products. These are systems that allow one to follow seafood from “boat to plate”. The drivers of traceability in regions such as North America, Australia, and the European Union have primarily been attributed to government regulation and the retail sector, where companies are seeking to reduce theirvreputationalvand business risk. Implementing traceabilityprograms can be costly, and as such, most programs implemented to date have been done in the global North: those economies generally associated with developed countries. And while there are noticeable benefits of traceability programs to downstream actors in global value chains, such as retailers, economic benefits accruing to upstream actors, such as fish harvesters, suppliers, or traders, are poorly understood.

In this panel, we bring together traceability experts from the global North with companies and researchers in the global South to discuss the economic benefits of traceability programs to fish harvesters, companies, and traders in developing countries. Implementing traceability in the global South, where much of the seafood consumed in the North actually originates, brings benefits to Northern consumers and security to importing governments. But it could also allow fisheries in the global South to access highly-regulated markets, participate in Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs), and even to apply for the Fair Trade standard. Our global South experts explore these opportunities, and discuss a newly launched scientific research project (Improving Fisheries Information and Traceability for Tuna) aimed at analyzing the benefits of traceability in Southeast Asia.  

The session organizers will provide an introduction to the topic and issues at hand (10 minutes). Invited panellists (6) will then each provide brief statements on the subject (10 minutes each), which will be followed by a discussion (50 minutes) of issues and future research. Audience questions will be solicited throughout the presentations, but answered by the panel during the discussion section.