Sunday, 24 May 2015

Looks like traceability has taken a step further in the USA - trace your individual lobster back home!

If you've ever wondered where the seafood you are eating comes from, you're in luck.

With the help of your smartphone you can now find out who caught the lobster you're boiling up for dinner.  Colemans grocery stores are taking part in the Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union's (FFAW) Traceability Project, which lets shoppers know where there food originates before it ends up on their plate.

Judy Bennett, public relations Colemans Judy Bennett of Colemans said the company is very excited to be offering the new program. Lobsters and halibut at Colemans now come with small orange tags, which lets people know where the fish was harvested and who hauled it out of the ocean. 

"You basically scan the QR Code with your phone, and it takes you directly to the website," said Judy Bennett, public relations person for Colemans.

"Up pops the website where you can key in the number and you have a complete history of the fisher who caught your lobster - where he caught it, the name of his vessel and a little biography on the fisher, which is just so exciting for us."

Following the fish from the ocean to the plate

The FFAW put the program together to bring the buyer and the fisher together, and Coleman's unveiled the program last week.

Bennett said not only can people look up who caught the fish, they can get in contact with the harvester as well.

"The website is very interactive and you can actually e-mail the fisher after you've gone on the website and give him your comments on what you thought of his product," she said.

"A Swiss chef who opened up a box of lobster in his restaurant scanned the tag with his smartphone and then e-mailed the fisher to say, 'I've eaten your lobster, I really enjoyed it and and from now on I am only going to buy Newfoundland lobster from now on'."

Traceability Project The Traceability Project allows shoppers to scan their food, and find out information such as what it is, where it came from and more. (CBC)

Behind the counter at Colemans, seafood manager Harvey Sampson said a day doesn't go by without people asking where their fish comes from. This program now takes care of that question for them.

"At least people know where our product is coming from," he said.

"It's local and customers do appreciate it."

Right now the tag is only on lobster and halibut, but there is hope that will change and include all seafood sold at Colemans.