Food safety and quality

Why this is important to us

Producing high-quality and safe food is our main objective. Food safety and quality is of the highest importance to our customers. Salmon and trout producers must be able to verify the quality of the fish from egg to market. The absence of undesirable microorganisms and traces of chemicals and medicines are essential to provide customer food which is not only guaranteed to be safe, but looks as tasty and healthy as possible too.

Our main principles

We strive to always provide products that meet our customers’ high expectations of quality. This requires full traceability and strict quality control at every stage of the production process. To maintain security around our approaches we focus on clear and open communication about our work methods and standards.

GLOBALG.A.P.  A voluntary international standard for food production, both in agriculture and aquaculture. The standard comprises food safety, animal welfare, sustainability, employment and traceability.

Fishtalk A production management system with many modules. Grieg Seafood deploys Fishtalk to record and report central ongoing production parameters from egg to harvesting. Defined targets are fed into the system throughout the process.

Maritech A data acquisition system specially adapted to harvesting and sales processes.

Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) ASC was founded in 2010 by WWF and IDH in order to establish global standards for sustainable seafood production. ASC standards set requirements for processes and marginal values to minimise negative environmental and social effects from fish farming. GSI members have committed themselves to work towards ASC by 2020

Our efforts and achievements in 2014

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Procurement

  • Quality criteria for feeds
  • Traceability through Fishtalk

Fish farming

  • Preventive health measures and treatment
  • Traceability through Fishtalk
  • GLOBALG.A.P. certification

 

 

Harvesting

  • Preventive hygienic and quality measures
  • Traceability through Fishtalk and Maritech
  • Approved HACCP system
  • Norwegian Food Safety Authority monitors residues in fish
  • GLOBALG.A.P. certification
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Sales and distribution

  • Risk assessment and preventive measures
  • Standards for transport and storage
  • ASC Chain and Custody
  • Communication about  approach
  • GLOBALG.A.P. certification

Customer

  • Systems to register and  follow up customer feedback
  • Approved HACCP system
  • Food Safety Authoraties monitor residue substances in fish
  • GLOBALG.A.P. certification

Our efforts and results in 2014

Safe food of high quality must have the optimal nutritional value and be absent of harmful foreign substances and pathogenic elements. We are subject to an EU-imposed monitoring program for aquaculture based on EU Directive 96/23 EC. This monitors that we stay below recommended maximum values for hazardous residues of medicines in food. Since the program began in 1998, the level of residues has remained significantly below the recommended maximum limits for all who participated in the surveillance.

The Norwegian Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research (NIFES) carries out the monitoring on behalf of the Food Safety Authorities. In 2013 NIFES concluded in the report “Farmed fish are safe foods” that:

“There are no traces of illegal medicines in farmed fish, and no findings of legal drugs, organic pollutants or heavy metals above the limit.”

It is also significant that in December 2014 the Norwegian Scientific Committee for food safety (Vitenskapskommiteen for Mattrygghet (VKM)) concluded that;

 “Farmed fish have less residues than wild fish” and that “There are no longer any reasons to believe that fertile women and girls should limit their consumption of oily fish from a health perspective”

With this they revoked a statement to the contrary from a similar assessment in 2006.

To produce safe and high quality food, Grieg Seafood has introduced standards that exceed government demands for quality and traceability. Among other measures, we have attained certification of our production management. Our operations in Rogaland are certified to the extensive GLOBALG.A.P. standard. At Shetland the GLOBA G.A.P. work is nearly complete and we aim for certification in mid-2015. In Finnmark we are in the process of preparing for a GLOBALG.A.P. certification, and in BC we are certified to BAP, which is equivalent to GLOBALG.A.P. These standards cover the entire value chain as a “code of conduct.” It is maintained by annual audits and unannounced inspections. We have also started work to certify according to the ASC, focused at two sites in Finnmark, and are in the process of selecting sites in BC. Grieg Seafood operates devices by the standards that include Natureland, The British Retail Consortium, The Soil Association, Freedom Food, The Organic Food Federation, Protected Geographic Indication, SSPO, and Friend of the Sea. Furthermore our sales company, Ocean Quality, is certified by the standards GLOBALG.A.P., Chain of Custody, and ASC Chain of Custody.

We have an ongoing focus on preventive measures in production and on ensuring a high standard of hygiene in all our operations. Hence we ensure good hygiene practices in boats, installations and processing plants, based on knowledge and awareness among our employees. The production is continuously followed up by the local authorities such as the Food safety Authority, which for instance has inspected and approved the HACCP system of the process plant.

The production management program Fishtalk provides traceability from insertion of roe until the fish are harvested. Fishtalk also provides a complete overview of all feed used and any treatments applied.

Our ambitions and goals

Going forward the Quality focus group will continue to standardize our approach to quality management to ensure that we employ best practice and enable knowledge sharing and cooperation. As part of this we will strive to develop common approaches to monitoring and performance management.