Australian Southern Rocklobster Clean Green Program
The Clean Green program is a world first rocklobster supply chain management strategy. It is a product certification program integrating “pot to plate” standards for environmental management, food safety and quality, work place safety and animal welfare. The participants are audited by an independent third party Conformity Assessment Body (CAB), which is accredited against the ISO/IEC Guide 65:1996 and JAS-ANZ Procedure 15.
The realisation of the Clean Green program has involved the development of an Environmental Management System (EMS) that incorporates standards from ‘pot to plate’ – direct to the consumer, and has placed industry in a position to guide its members on improving management practices. The program is underpinned by a standard of industry best practice developed by the industry members.
Fundamental to the success of the Clean Green product certification program is the third party auditing of environmental, food & quality, safety and work place standards. These elements of the program were trialled mid 2004 with just three fishers and three processors. Following an audit by an independent body these standards were then finalised and approved.
The certification is unique in that several standards are covered under the one integrated strategy.
Why a Clean Green program?
The Clean Green program is the industry vehicle to train and maintain industry operations at world’s best practice standards. The program allows industry to demonstrate to government, community, environmental groups, consumers and the marketplace, that the industry is organised and mature enough to address its responsibilities and interests through an industry managed and independently audited, standards-based program.
Industry driving its own destiny
The Clean Green program is owned and maintained by Southern Rocklobster Limited (SRL). SRL is the national peak body owned by licence holders across South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria. The Clean Green program is a strategy built on continuous improvement – easily updated and managed by industry.
To date over 400 industry members covering 250 vessels (around 50% of the industry) have participated in the program with most through to the full audit across South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria. In 2007-08 increased uptake is also being supported with funding support through the Australian Government Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries EMS Pathways program.
The strong participation from industry is indicative of its commitment to meet its duty of care on these important issues.
The Clean Green program has been strongly supported by industry, FarmBis, at both the State and Federal level, the Australian Maritime College, Fisheries Research and Development Corporation and Seafood Services Australia.
Making a Difference
The Clean Green program is making a real difference by:
- Improving operating standards - Independent, internationally-recognised audit and certification of the industry against the Clean Green standards which exceed legislative requirements in most instances
- Meeting AQIS Certification requirements for boats handling live crustaceans for exports to allmarkets, thus reducing duplication and costs across the industry
- Managing responsible disposal and recycling of marine wastes – oil, plastics & cardboard
- Removing environmentally unfriendly practices such as the use of plastic bait box straps
- Increasing participation in voluntary catch sampling programs
- Increasing awareness and protection of seals, whales and sea lions
- Contributing to achievement of price premiums in new markets for certified Clean Green lobster
Contributing to Our Regional Communities
The industry operates across South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania and annually generates in excess of 3,000 jobs, $180m in exports and $250m in business, primarily in the regions.
The program now underpins the “Clean Green” brand which is a registered trademark and in 2007 markets for lobster branded with as certified Clean Green Australian Southern Rocklobster, were established for the first time at substantial premiums in the USA.
The market development program is a unique “fisher direct” model, involving full traceability of the lobster through the supply chain and direct linkage of the customer to the fisher through the SRL website.
The Clean Green program is good for our industry because it’s good for the environment, markets and our business.
The success of the program has been acknowledged through various award programs. Clean Green has won awards for innovation in environmental, best practice, work safety and food safety, including:
1st place: Environmental Best Practice Program, United Nations (Association of Australia) 2005 World Environment Day Award
1st Place: Eco-Sustainability Award under the Waste Management & Resource Recovery award category. December 2005: KESAB Tidy Towns Award
1st Place: Occupational Health, Safety and Environment Award 2005 National Safety Council of Australia’s Awards
Overall Best Program: Occupational Health and Safety 2005 NSCA/Telstra Award for Excellence.
Certificate of Merit South Australian Landcare Awards 2005-06