The collaborative provenance project which was first launched in 2019 with over 2 years of verified samples, heralded a world-first for the seafood industry – where Source Certain’s scientific provenance technology, TSW Trace®, powered an industry-wide provenance program protecting the integrity of Australian prawns.
Source Certain’s program, first launched in 2019, developed in collaboration with Curtin University, Australian Council of Prawn Fisheries (ACPF) and Australian Prawn Farmers Association (APFA) involves all Australian wild-catch fisheries and prawn farms and uses trace metal, isotope and stable isotope analysis to determine a unique chemical fingerprint for each individual fishery or farm, which form the Provenance Database.
The program involved investment into developing a Provenance Database for farmed and wild-caught Australian prawns including the collection and despatch of more than 1,500 Australian samples across 35 wild-harvest sources and 17 prawn farms.
The samples were then analysed by Source Certain’s forensic laboratory and entered into a Provenance Database giving the industry a means to use forensic technology to verify the provenance of Australian claimed prawns down to individual fishery or specific pond on a farm whilst also verifying species.
The project has been jointly funded by the ACPF and the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) managed by Dr Janet Howieson, through the School of Molecular and Life Sciences at Curtin University.
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Annie Jarrett Chair Australian Council Prawn Fisheries (ACPF)
On the back of the successful program, a four-year industry commitment to continue the program nationally to 2025 has been approved.
In 2022, Source Certain, together with ACPF, APFA and Curtin University won the State (Queensland) and National Research, Development and Extension Award at the Seafood Industry Awards for the prawn industry’s national provenance program.
The Research, Development and Extension Award recognises demonstrated excellence in the contributions of individuals, partnerships, businesses, and organisations towards a sustainable and profitable Australian seafood industry. Moreover, the program was technically challenging, end-user driven and addressed high priorities for the industry – trust, transparency and market access.
The Australian prawn industry’s Provenance Database now contains more than 3,000 samples.
Benefits from Program
- Gives the public certainty that if it says Australian, then they are purchasing Australian prawns.
- Helps build integrity and transparency in the supply chain.
- This program was the first of its kind and scale in the seafood industry.
- Verifies provenance back to the individual fishery or specific pond on a farm whilst also verifying species.
The commitment to this program and ongoing work demonstrates the importance the industry places on ensuring consumers get what they pay for and that they can trust wild Australian prawns.
Cameron Scadding, Source Certain Managing Director
Consumers care where their food is from and this technology is an important tool in demonstrating provenance back to an Australian farm and helps build integrity and transparency in the supply chain. It is a ‘win win’ for farmers, customers and consumers as it will give the public certainty that if it says Australian, then they are purchasing Australian prawns.
Kim Hooper, APFA Executive Officer
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