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Food Quality and Safety in Europe



Latin America is becoming a real force in aquaculture, supplying international markets with products like shrimp, tilapia, salmon, mussels, abalone and oysters. Three countries in the region, Chile, Brazil and Mexico, are now among the top ten in terms of greatest increase in culture production, although Asia still remains the largest aquaculture producer in the world.

As a major exporter of seafood products, Latin America plays a key role in the seafood value chain. The export trend to the EU continues to increase steadily in most cases. However, if Latin American countries wish to maintain or increase their exports of seafood products to the EU, they must comply with a number of European standards, rules and procedures. Strict policies on food quality, traceability and safety throughout the production, transformation and distribution chains need to be upheld.


Technological developments and innovative changes in fishing must ensure that certain practices can be sustained. Besides concerns related to food quality and safety, the environment is under great stress. Particular fishing techniques, processing and transformation chains and transport modes may have a serious impact on the environment. Certain practices might even have undesirable effects on unrelated sectors such as tourism, hygiene and health, or compromise the safety of products we buy in our supermarkets every day.

So far, the Latin American aquaculture, capture, processing and distribution industries have had limited exposure to scientific research institutions and experienced poor uptake of technological innovation. The EUROLATSEA project has tremendous potential for helping improve the quality of seafood processing in the Latin American region, by ensuring better communication between producers and research institutions and improved exposure to technological innovation.


EUROLATSEA supports access to research and development (R&D) activities and new technologies for organisations within the Latin American seafood industry. This includes those involved in capture, aquaculture, processing and distribution. It provides scientific and technological advice to companies, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and research centres on the basis of careful analysis of their innovation needs in the traceability of seafood, in the improvement of quality of exports, and the safeguarding of consumer health.

The project directly involves five research organisations from Chile, Denmark, Ecuador, Italy and Spain. It combines the expertise of scientific institutions with that of business support organisations (industry associations and companies from Europe and Latin America), in charge of contacting, informing and profiling organisations likely to be assisted by the project in different countries. Three of the nine project partners form part of the ERMES consortium (European Research for Mediterranean Seafood), another Food Quality & Safety initiative.

Scientific advice - provided through a series of workshops, one-to-one sessions and follow-ups - helps organisations in need of research to find the most appropriate research institution working on the issue in question and/or to set up cooperation with a particular initiative under Framework Programmes 6 and 7. Organisations requiring technology transfer are assisted by EUROLATSEA specialists to upgrade their technological capacity.

The expected results of this Specific Support Action are to provide organisations from the Latin American region working with European companies and exporting to Europe, with a wide set of scientific services. Meeting their innovation and technological needs through vigorous European-Latin American cooperation in research will contribute to high quality, safe, economically viable and sustainable seafood production.

List of Partners

  • TESEO - Technical Support for European Organisations (Belgium)
  • GAIA - Asociación de Industrias País Vasco (Spain)
  • Hidrocultivos (Chile)
  • CENAIM - Centro Nacional de Acuicultura e Investigaciones Marinas (Ecuador)
  • Fundación AZTI (Spain)
  • Centro Tecnológico Valparaíso (Chile)
  • DIFRES-Danish Institute for Fisheries Research (Denmark)
  • Università degli Studi di Firenze (Italy)
  • Camera Nacional de Acuacultura de Ecuador (Ecuador)
Full title:
European research for the Latin American seafood industry
Contract n°:
Project co-ordinator:
Idaira Robayna Alfonso, TESEO (Technical Support for European Organisations)
EC Scientific Officer:
Mario Lopes Dos Santos,
EU contribution:
€ 600,000
Specific Support Action

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Last update: 06 December 2007 | Top