Current stage:

Issue Prioritisation Development Selection Implementation

Improvement overview

As demand for sustainable seafood grows, it is critical that the MSC's traceability standard and associated tools and procedures evolve to keep pace with industry best practice.

During 2015 the MSC's product integrity team undertook a pilot project to explore the possibility of development an electronic supply chain tool - MSC Online Transaction Solution (MOTS), to strengthen the integrity of the MSC Chain of Custody system.

The objectives of MOTS are to:

  • Improve chain of custody integrity
  • Reduce possible product substitution or mislabelling
  • Streamline chain of custody audits

Current status

Currently, two rounds of pilot studies have been completed in Europe and Chin, as well as two rounds of public online consultations around the world.

Following feedback from industry stakeholders, the MSC will proceed with a targeted application of the MOTS instead of a full roll out across its supply chain. This decision was supported by the MSC Technical Advisory Board on 10 December 2015.

Some of the key consultation outcomes include:

  • Over 300 stakeholders around the world contributed to consultations on the implementation for MOTS
  • Overall, companies and auditors saw the benefits of MOTS in developing markets with paper-based supply chains
  • Companies with existing online traceability systems do not anticipate that MOTS would increase product integrity relative to the additional investment required
  • Auditors highlighted the need for better quality and more consistent company data validated to avoid manual verification exercise
  • Stakeholders expressed interest if MOTS allows traceability back to fishery level
  • Several stakeholders raised concerns on the use of confidentiality of business data

Planned work

The MSC is committed to being the world's leading certification program. Taking on board stakeholder feedback, the MSC will continue efforts with the following activities:

  • Improve the existing MSC Chain of Custody and audit systems
  • Target application of MOTS in predominantly paper-based supply chains
  • Intensify monitoring in high risk and upcoming regions (i.e. South East Asia) through more regular manual tracebacks and increase auditor competency through training
  • Investigate and further improve traceability at the fishery level, to ensure integrity where fish enters the supply chain (this topic opens for public consultation on 1 March 2016)
  • Explore opportunities for scalability and efficiencies through online traceability
  • Pursue partnership with other initiatives, companies and governments

The MSC would like to thank all stakeholders for their valuable feedback. This is essential to the continual development and improvement of the MSC program to remain robust, efficient and relevant.

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