La. Certified Seafood Brand promotes La. seafood industry
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, in coordination with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, LSU AgCenter, Louisiana SeaGrant, Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board and fisheries industry leaders, launched the Louisiana Certified Seafood Program.
This origin-based certification program aims to build a unified brand that will attract not only consumers, but also food service and seafood distribution buyers who want to ensure they are sourcing the best tasting seafood in the world – Louisiana seafood.
“Consumers are paying more attention to their seafood choices, particularly where it’s from and how it’s sourced. People are demanding transparency in the seafood industry, so we’re giving it to them,” explained LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina. “This program is three years in the making and demonstrates our Department’s strong commitment to ensuring Louisiana’s delicious seafood will continue to be recognized as the world’s finest.”
The program is a direct result of recommendations from the Louisiana Shrimp Task Force, created by Governor Jindal in 2009, to establish rules and guidelines throughout the seafood supply chain enabling the state to certify that “Louisiana Certified Seafood” is taken, landed and processed in Louisiana.
“We encourage buying and promoting Louisiana products whether it’s in stores, farmer’s markets or restaurants. Our goal is to make sure Louisiana residents seek homegrown products to keep our industry strong. People at home and abroad want our produce and seafood because the quality speaks for itself,” said LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M.
The Louisiana Seafood Certification program targets Louisiana fishermen, processors, dock owners, grocers and restaurants, to showcase and more importantly brand Louisiana seafood. Across the globe, people are familiar with “geographically-based” branding including Maine Lobster and Idaho Potatoes.
In the coming years, Louisiana wild-caught shrimp, oyster, crabs and finfish will be synonymous with our great state and the Louisiana Certified Seafood Brand.
The goals of the program are to develop a nationally recognized brand that distinguishes Louisiana seafood from seafood of another origin; certify and increase consumer confidence that branded seafood is from the Gulf of Mexico, landed, processed and packaged in Louisiana and promote and market all participants and seafood labeled with this logo.
All commercially licensed fishermen automatically qualify for the program. This program is voluntary for docks, processors, dealers, grocers and restaurants, who can apply to receive a Louisiana Certified Seafood permit.
Fresh Product dealers, docks, and processors must complete a brief online training. Grocers and restaurants do not need to complete the online training, but are required to complete the application.
Participants in the program may choose to be featured on the Certified Louisiana Seafood website as a provider of Louisiana Certified Seafood, in an effort to encourage additional business.
More information on training along with application forms may be found at http://www.Certified.LouisianaSeafood.com. For questions about the program, contact Rene LeBreton at (504) 286-8745 or Jason Froeba at (225) 765-0121.
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