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Clover Leaf launches traceability program

Seafood company caters to consumers' interest in where their food comes from

Clover Leaf Seafoods has launched a traceability program that lets consumers see where their fish came from.

With the “Trace by Catch” program, every Clover Leaf tuna and salmon product features a unique code that, when entered online at, provides detailed information on the product, including species, fishing method, ocean of catch, vessel name, fishing trip dates and the location of the processor. Trace My Catch collects information from more than 600 vessels in four oceans, and covers 80% of Clover Leaf products, including cans, pouches and cups.

“More and more, we’re seeing young consumers and Gen Xers taking an interest in where their food comes from and its impact on the environment,” said Ron Schindler, president of Clover Leaf Seafoods. “That, coupled with the actions of big companies like McDonald’s that are providing greater transparency to consumers, really was an a-ha moment for us.”

Schindler said product codes have always been on the packaging, since it’s required as part of government regulations on recalls. However, the complexity of the data made it difficult to make the information easily available to consumers.

READ: Clover Leaf targets young professionals with new Toppers line

, we collect this data and we have a code on the products. If we can build a system around it, we can provide hyper-transparency to our consumer, which helps reinforce the trust in our brand,” said Schindler. “It took quite some time to get the systems developed, and then to develop a website that would move fast enough so consumers wouldn’t be bored while it looked up the database.”

“Trace my Catch” actually launched quietly just under a year ago for tuna products, and in the last few months, salmon was added. Clover Leaf wanted to make sure the site was running smoothly before widely publicizing it.

“We got to the point where we’re comfortable that it works well enough and the information is robust,” said Schindler. The company has begun a PR campaign and is developing an in-store campaign. In the future, the program will be highlighted right on the packaging.

In 2017, Clover Leaf plans to add sardines and clams to the program, bringing traceable products up to 90%. In the future, the company would like to get 100% of its products on the system.

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