The lack of traceability and a quality standards framework in the Australian seafood industry has resulted in inconsistencies in the quality of barramundi for sale and is constraining local industry growth, according to Food Innovation Australia Limited (FIAL).
FIAL has partnered with Mainstream Aquaculture and the Australian Barramundi Farming Association on a $3.6 million project to raise the standard of barramundi on offer to consumers.
While many consumers may be under the impression that they are buying an Australian fish, FIAL said that “too often they receive an inferior substitute”.
“These lower quality barramundi are often grown in poor farming environments in South East Asia. The lack of an industry wide traceability and quality standards framework in Australia has perpetuated this misleading conduct and denigrated branded barramundi, constraining market access and growth opportunities for the industry,” FIAL said in a statement.
The joint partnership aims to develop a national quality standard and traceability framework for all Australian barramundi to help grow the domestic barramundi market and reduce the use of imported barramundi.
“The cutting-edge technology will increase consumer satisfaction by breeding fish with an acceptable flesh colour, and optimal nutritional value that doesn’t compromise the texture and flavour profile. It is rare to see a whole-of-industry approach used in such a way, so we are incredibly excited to a part of it,” said Barry McGookin, general manager of innovation at FIAL.