GRIEG Seafood’s export company, Ocean Quality, has run into major problems over mislabelled salmon shipped to China.
Norway’s food safety authority (NFSA) has suspended exports of Norwegian salmon to China because it found late last month that the incorrect documentation was being used.
The action does not affect Grieg salmon exports from either its UK or British Columbia operations.
Meanwhile, Ocean Quality, which is 60 per cent owned by Grieg Seafood and 40 per cent owned by Bremnes Fryeri, has suspended two employees following the food safety authority discovery that older declaration forms had been re-used. This meant that the food safety authority had issued export licences using incorrect information.
After a long stand-off between the two countries over political issues involving a dissident, normal sales of Norwegian salmon to China finally got going again last year.
But this was only after the Chinese laid down strict documentation regulations governing health and safety.
It is reported that some of the salmon sent to China with the wrong documentation had the disease PD, which is not normally restricted by Norway and other countries. China, however, takes a quite different view on this matter and demands fish free of PD.
Øyvind Fossøy, chairman of Ocean Quality, said he took the issue very seriously.
‘We have a zero tolerance for improper use of documentation, and we are very sorry that it has happened.
‘Ocean Quality has suspended two employees who, according to the company, have been involved with this.
‘Based on the review, we have now taken measures to ensure that this does not happen again. We have, among other things, sharpened our routines for self-declaration and internal controls.
‘Employees involved in exporting to China have been re-trained in the new routines.
‘We have reported the measures taken to the Norwegian Food Safety Authority, with which we have a close dialogue. Everybody should be able to trust that our fish is what we say it is.