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Benefits of traceability in fish supply chains – case studies

Nga Mai (University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland and University of Nhatrang, Nhatrang, Vietnam)
Sigurdur Gretar Bogason (University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland and MarkMar ehf, Reykjavik, Iceland)
Sigurjon Arason (University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland and Matis ohf, Reykjavik, Iceland)
Sveinn Víkingur Árnason (University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland and MarkMar ehf, Reykjavik, Iceland)
Thórólfur Geir Matthíasson (University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 7 September 2010




The purpose of this paper is to investigate how the seafood industry perceives benefits of traceability implementation. Furthermore, ex ante cost‐benefit analyses (CBAs) of adopting new traceability systems are conducted for two firms, operating at different steps of the seafood supply chains, to obtain preliminary knowledge on the net benefits of the project and on how costs and benefits are distributed among the actors.


This is a case‐based study.


The surveyed companies perceive improving supply chain management as the most important benefit of traceability. Other benefits are increase of the ability to retain existing customers; product quality improvement; product differentiation; and reduction of customer complaints. However, the quantifiable benefits are perceived differently by the actors at different steps in the supply chains, e.g. implementing radio frequency identification (RFID) tags on pallets in the seafood trading company case study shows tangibly quantifiable benefits.


The paper is useful for both practitioners and academics regarding perceived benefits of traceability in fish supply chains. The research provides initial insight into seafood companies' perspectives on the benefits of adopting RFID‐based traceability solutions. The paper suggests that the financial burden of implementing traceability may be borne by the processing firms, while gains are reaped by firms in the distribution business closer to the end consumer. This could provide a partial explanation as to why traceability has been slow to gain ground as a visible value‐adding marketing tool, and is mainly being driven by food safety regulations.



Mai, N., Gretar Bogason, S., Arason, S., Víkingur Árnason, S. and Geir Matthíasson, T. (2010), "Benefits of traceability in fish supply chains – case studies", British Food Journal, Vol. 112 No. 9, pp. 976-1002.



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