Food crime is nothing new, but as food fraud becomes more globalised and sophisticated, then so must the means used to detect and prevent it. By Mike Mitchell Fair Seas Limited During the early part of 2013, confidence in the food manufacturing industry across Europe was rocked by the discovery of widespread substitution of Read More
The last great challenge of ethical food production? Unlike any other part of the modern food system, fishing boats are difficult to observe and monitor. The very nature of the fishing industry means that workers carry out their duties beyond the reach of standard due diligence processes such as routine audit and inspection. In recent years, concerns over exploitative labour practices on fishing vessels have been increasingly reported in the European and US media – these allegations of mal-practice range in severity from incidents of poor man-management and inequities of payment terms between flag state nationals and migrant crew members, to the most extreme forms of forced labour and slavery. Whilst some of these stories document high profile and extreme human rights abuses in developing world nations, others have highlighted less severe, but still concerning issues in the UK and other EU fisheries.
Seafood is one of the world’s most widely traded commodities, and if marine resources are managed responsibly they have the potential to be both a plentiful source of healthy protein and a valuable revenue stream for developing nation economies. In order to realise the potential in both of these areas, we need to consider how to maximise fishery earnings by accessing the most appropriate markets for all parts of the catch. In some cases, there may be a latent potential to increase revenue through accessing high value export markets in developed world economies alongside improving value streams from domestic, regional and existing trade routes.