Growers association pushes for certified sustainable shellfish

| Print |  Email
Archives - November 2007
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

Farm in a Box

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Most of the food Americans consume is trucked in from hundreds of miles away. Eric Wilson, co-founder and CEO of Gro-volution, wants to change that. So this past spring, the Air Force veteran and former greenhouse manager started work on an alternative farming system he claims is more efficient than conventional agriculture, and also shortens the distance between the consumer and the farm.


Read more...

Reader Input: Fair Play

May 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Former Governor John Kitzhaber's resignation in February prompted some soul searching in this state about ethical behavior in industry and government.


Read more...

Fueling Up for the Climb

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY GREGG MORRIS

Rita Hansen aims to scale natural gas vehicle innovation.


Read more...

Best Foot Forward

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY CHRIS NOBLE

Whether you're stepping out to work or onto the track, Pacific Northwest shoe companies have you covered.


Read more...

Brain Storm

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY CAMILLE GRIGSBY-ROCCA

Can the brave new world of neurotechnology help an OHSU surgeon find a cure for obesity?


Read more...

Staffing Challenge

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with Greg Lambert, president of Mid Oregon Personnel Services.


Read more...

Reader Input: Road Work

March 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Oregon's roads are crumbling, and revenues from state and local gas taxes are not sufficient to pay for improvements. We asked readers if the private sector should help fund transportation maintenance and repairs. Research partner CFM Strategic Communications conducted the poll of 366 readers in February.

0315 input01 620px

 

Reader comments:

"I feel private enterprises are capable of operating at a higher efficiency than state government."

"This has been used in Oregon since the mid-1800s. It is not a new financing method. This form of financing may help Oregon close its infrastructure deficit by leveraging funds."


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