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WASHINGTON - The National Fisheries Institute (NFI), whose members provide about 75 percent of all seafood consumed in the United States, said it has formed the Better Seafood Bureau (BSB) to ensure retailers and restaurateurs have a means of recognizing seafood suppliers who uphold high standards for business operations.
"It is important for retailers and restaurateurs to know that NFI members are providing buyers with the products they expect and deserve," said NFI president John Connelly. "Beginning this year, NFI's senior company officers signed commitment forms pledging that their products are not transshipped to avoid duties, mislabeled for species, or mislabeled for weight or counts. The BSB will ensure this pledge is enforced and that NFI members are recognized for conducting their businesses honestly and with respect to their supply chain partners."
The BSB will function as an independent body. It will retain a call center to accept comments from buyers in the seafood value chain about any unresolved concerns regarding transshipment and mislabeling of seafood. The call center will confirm that the caller attempted to resolve the matter directly with the supplier involved prior to accepting the comment.
For calls passing these criteria, the BSB will examine the comment and determine when a situation with a particular company requires further investigation. Companies with three unresolved customer complaints will be required to go through a third party audit of their processes. The BSB will begin receiving calls in August 2007; the phone number for the BSB call center will be released at that time.
"The NFI members' willingness to undergo this extra level of scrutiny, including third party audits, is unique among suppliers to restaurants and retailers," said Connelly. "It is a real testimony to the commitment our members have to supply their customers with quality products."
For more information, contact Lisa Weddig at (703) 752-8886, or [email protected].