2013/751 Implementing Australian quality index schemes
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2013/751 Implementing Australian quality index schemes


By Sue Poole and Mark Boulter



Within the Australian seafood industry there is no standard quality assessment system. Currently individual seafood businesses each have their own internal systems often dictated directly by market buyer product specifications. This is appropriate for the particular company’s supply chain but engenders confusion between companies and across the marketplace. The Quality Index (QI) method is a tool that can assist businesses to monitor supply chain performance and identify areas for improvement. 


The original FRDC funded QI project supported development 14 QI schemes for Australian seafood species and the Seafood CRC has invested in developing an additional four schemes (Australian Salmon, Crimson Snapper, Blue-Spotted Emperor, Rosy Threadfin Bream) for its participants. However, there has been little uptake of the QI method within the Australian Industry to date, despite efforts to commercialise and raise awareness of the benefits of using QI.


The initial focus of this project centred on updating the existing Australian Quality Index Manual with all schemes developed for Australian fish species. Over two hundred hardcopy QI Manuals were printed and distributed to appropriate seafood businesses.  The later goal of this project was to provide the QI method to participants in a format that was most readily applicable in any environment at any point along the supply chain. To achieve this, an Australian Seafood Quality Index App was created suitable for use on multiple devices.


The QI tool provides a consistent system, based on a universal language of quality descriptors, to assess freshness throughout the chain and determine remaining storage life of the product.