Sustainable aquaculture and aquatic resources management

Approaches to Linking Producers to Markets

Published: 11/6/2007 | 2204 views
FAO Agricultural Management, marketing and Finance Occasional Paper 13

Paper examines experiences of linking farmers to markets, in order to reach some tentative conclusions regarding success factors. It mainly considers examples of linkages promoted by outside organizations such as NGOs. Issues discussed include the choice of markets, the capacity of the linking organizations, and the relationship between the private sector, NGOs and farmers. Linking farmers to new markets invariably involves farmers organizing into formal or informal groups. Experiences with group organization are reviewed, as is the question of finance. Problems faced by farmers in maintaining linkages are examined and sustainability and scaling-up of linkage activities considered. A check-list of issues to address when planning market linkages is provided as an annex. The paper also considers the enabling environment that governments must provide if linking farmers to markets is to prove successful.

The paper is aimed at staff of NGOs, both those working at the policy level and in the field; at donor organizations and the projects they support; and at ministry of agriculture policymakers and extension services. It should also be useful for private sector companies seeking to develop linkages with small farmers.

Risk assessment of choleragenic Vibrio cholerae in warm-water shrimp in international trade

Published: 12/1/2007 | 2084 views
In response to a request from Codex for scientific advice, FAO and WHO, in 2001, established a risk-assessment drafting group and convened an expert consultation to take the first steps in developing a risk assessment on Vibrio spp. in seafood products that would have the most impact on public health or international trade, or both. The expert consultation concluded that three species, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Vibrio vulnificus and choleragenic Vibrio cholerae, were the species responsible for most cases of human illness cased by vibrios, and several seafood vehicles associated with these illnesses were identified. Work was thus undertaken on the following pathogen-product combinations:
- V. parahaemolyticus in raw oysters harvested and consumed in Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and the United States of America.
- V. parahaemolyticus in finfish consumed raw.
- V. parahaemolyticus in bloody clams harvested and consumed in Thailand.
- V. vulnificus in raw oysters harvested and consumed in the United States of America.
- Choleragenic V. cholerae O1 and O139 in warm-water shrimp in international trade.

These five individual risk assessments illustrate how different approaches were used to reflect the national capacity to generate data, including health statistics and data on the pathogen and the commodity of concern. The assessments considered information on Vibrio spp. In seafood that was generated and available at regional and national levels, and this information formed the substantive basis from which the risk assessments were developed.

The current document describes the risk assessment of choleragenic Vibrio cholerae O1 and O139 in warm-water shrimp in international trade. Choleragenic V. cholerae is an important pathogen in many developing countries, where it can cause devastating disease and economic burdens. Within developing cholera-endemic countries, the data needed for a quantitative risk assessment may not be available. However, there is growing information (data on food and human health) indicating that food from developing countries, especially shrimp, in international trade is not a risk for cholera. This risk assessment was undertaken to use the available data to address some of the problems faced by developing countries with respect to the export market for warm-water shrimp.

In undertaking the work, it was recognized that the risk of acquiring cholera from shrimp traded and consumed in the domestic market was not addressed. The lack of data made this impossible at the current time. However, the report provides different approaches to risk assessment in an effort to make this tool more easily adaptable for use at the national level and to estimate risk at the domestic level as and when appropriate data become available.

Study on Eco-labelling of Aquatic Products: General view and future considerations for the ASEAN

Published: 31/1/2007 | 2170 views
Report of eco-labelling study in ASEAN region conducted by SEAFDEC with technical support through the Swedish Board of Fisheries.

Executive Summary
The reliance on fisheries and aquaculture in the ASEAN region as a mean of providing foreign revenue, poverty alleviation and food security is evident. However, there is a general concern that overexploitation of the marine resources has made the fisheries productivity continually declining. At the same time, aquaculture has been encouraged to compensate for the reduced marine productivity so as to meet the demand in the global markets. The dependency of fisheries and aquaculture on natural resources and the importance of these sectors when it comes to national economies are also well recognised. Hence, a common concern in the region has been raised over how to maintain sustainable trade of fisheries and aquaculture products for sustainable livelihood of local people.

Trade- and environmental issues associated with fisheries and aquaculture products have been discussed widely in the region. These issues are even more important today due to the increasing demand of environmentally-preferred products by the consumers. As a result, it has become a real challenge for the region to be able to respond to the consumers? expectations. This challenge implies the development of environmentally-friendly fisheries and aquaculture production as well as the communication of environmental information to consumers.

Eco-labelling, also known as Environmental labelling, is a symbol, logo, text or data sheet of environmental profiles attached to a product to indicate its origin from environmentally-sustainable practices. It has emerged as a tool to provide environmental information of products to consumers. Eco-labelling is seen as a mean to differentiate the products to assist consumers in their purchasing decisions for environmentally-friendly products.

The eco-labelling issues have been received a special interest in the international fish trade forum. It is seen as a potential tool to stimulate more responsible fisheries and aquaculture practices and hence improving sustainability. Whilst the eco-labelling principles are consistent with the sustainability concepts, there are however major concern given to its impacts on trade.


Published: 13/12/2006 | 2150 views
Discussion paper by Hector Lupin, presented at the Committee On Fisheries, Sub-Committee On Fish Trade (COFI: FT), Tenth Session, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, 30 May ? 02 June 2006,

Traceability is not new to the fish and food industry. Fresh fish is a highly perishable product and traceability systems have been utilized systematically in the fishery industry. The traceability concept has also been included, explicitly or implicitly, for food safety purposes in several fish and fish product regulations for many years, in particular since the introduction of HACCP-based regulations.

1) External traceability systems for food chains have been developed during recent decades and introduced world wide. In the case of fisheries they are a result of the expansion of international fish trade and, more recently, the growth of fish retailing in food supermarket chains. External traceability refers to systems aimed to allow the traceability of a product and/or attribute(s) of that product through the successive stages of the distribution chain (boat/fish-farm to table).

2) Internal traceability refers to the traceability of raw materials, intermediate and final products within a productive or commercial unit (e.g. within a fish plant). Internal traceability systems are also aimed at productivity improvement and cost reduction.

3) ?Traceability? can be related to regulatory requirements, implemented on a voluntary basis or be commercial in nature. As a result, the word ?traceability? is associated with an increasing number of purposes and objectives, with reference to different attributes (or information) to be traced, as well as to different standards to encode and recover information.

4) Not all ?traceability? systems are equivalent and/or interchangeable. Nor can they necessarily be consolidated. Different purposes and systems also trigger different expectations in producers and consumers that do not always correspond to the traceability system in use (regulatory, contractual or voluntary). This partially explains the current uncertainty related to ?traceability? requirements and to the possible implications of traceability regulations.

Internal Control System (ICS): Report prepared by SASA

Published: 1/11/2006 | 3001 views
Report on Internal Control System (ICS) prepared by the Social Accountability in Sustainable Agriculture (SASA), which is a project by ISEAL Alliance. The report summaries the property of ICS with special focus on 1) smallholder access to certification, 2) social certification, 3) internal control elements and 4) generic management system.

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