Growers association pushes for certified sustainable shellfish

| Print |  Email
Thursday, November 01, 2007

oysters.jpg

OREGON COAST The Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association is taking its environmental policy worldwide, with help from the World Wildlife Fund and Portland-based Food Alliance. There is currently no group in the United States that can certify shellfish as sustainable or organic, although the PCSGA adopted its own environmental policy several years ago. “Growers consider themselves stewards of the environment they work in,” says Robin Downey, executive director of PCSGA.

In an effort to put more value behind what it already considers basic farming practices of its members, PCSGA enlisted the WWF to set international standards for environmental and social sustainability. “Whatever standards they hold up will probably be considered the gold standards,” explains Downey. The PCSGA and WWF convened a mollusk dialogue in Welches last month to work toward this goal. The problem lies in finding an expert third party that can certify shellfish according to the standards, which will address interaction with both marine and upland environments, management principles, efficiency, employee training, waste and local involvement.

Enter the Food Alliance, which has been setting standards and certifying food organic or sustainable for 10 years. The three groups could agree on standards as soon as next year, at which time Food Alliance executive director Scott Exo hopes to be on the ground, certifying shellfish.

Besides the environmental benefits, Downey says a sustainable certification is just good business. “In order to compete in the global marketplace, growers have to have this kind of option.” A sustainable seal could boost the $1.2 million Oregon oyster industry, she says.

Mark Wiegardt, owner of the Whiskey Creek Hatchery in Netarts, is unsure the certification is necessary, as growers are having no trouble selling their product as it is. But he agrees that instilling consumer confidence is important, which the certification can do, and that it may boost international sales. “Anything that certifies your product as being safe is beneficial,” he says.                                        

AMBER NOBE


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

Convention Wisdom

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

After more than a decade of wrangling, construction on a convention center hotel in Portland is slated to start this summer. But debate over project financing continues.


Read more...

The city as startup

Guest Blog
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
011415 citystartup-thumbBY NISHANT BHAJARIA | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

Startups in the growth phase are associated with a fresh infusion of capital — human and financial — a curiosity factor and products to disrupt the market and drive demand. Portland’s economy gives off the same aroma.


Read more...

Ski traffic

Linda Baker
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
0121-skiway-thumbBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

A place-based multimodal transportation plan for Mt. Hood is long overdue.


Read more...

Money Talks

March 2015
Saturday, February 21, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Will community banks survive the digital age? Three CEOs peer into banking's crystal ball.


Read more...

Thy neighbor's house

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Vacasa may lack the name recognition of Airbnb. But not for long.


Read more...

4 highlights of the MLS labor deal

The Latest
Wednesday, March 04, 2015
timbersthumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

On Wednesday night, a couple days ahead of the 2015 season kickoff, Major League Soccer and the Players Union reached an agreement.


Read more...

7 industry trends of 2015

The Latest
Friday, January 09, 2015
covertrends15-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Industry groups identify top trends for 2015.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS