There is an urgent need in the marketplace for adoption of a well recognised, well understood, practical, rapid and scientifically based quality index for fresh seafood. This need is critical as the industry moves inexorably towards adoption of electronic marketing (such as Sydney Fish Markets SFMlive system), trading, remote selling and increased exports to discriminating markets.
This index must be in a form that is readily understood and can gain wide acceptance both domestically and internationally giving advantages to industry in meeting consumer demands through:
- Shelf life prediction;
- Improving buyer certainty;
- Supply chain management;
- Conflict resolution; and
- Education and training.
This project is designed to meet these highly demanding ‘whole of chain’ needs by capitalising on previous research knowledge gained in projects funded by predecessors of FRDC. This knowledge has been taken up in Europe and refined into the Quality Index Method (QIM) (see www.QIM-Eurofish.com) now widely adopted by industry. It is not only used in electronic auctions and by buyers seeking top product but is also the preferred sensory assessment reference method in all the European fish research laboratories and is on the road to becoming the approved EC official reference method. European research has shown that for QI schemes to be accurate they need to be developed / refined for each specific species.
This project is designed to be a pilot programme to undertake the necessary research and development to tailor the QI for application under commercial circumstances to a number of Australian species. It will also define a strategy for the cost effective commercial role out to other species.