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04/29/2021

FMI Helps Standardize Seafood Buying Process

Partnership with National Fisheries Institute helps suppliers efficiently comply and fill orders
Marian Zboraj
Digital Editor
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FMI Helps Standardize Seafood Buying Process NFI
Forms currently exist for shrimp, scallop and snow crab, while additional forms are being developed for salmon and finfish.

To improve the seafood-buying process for retailers and wholesalers, FMI — The Food Industry Association’s Seafood Strategy Leadership Council and National Fisheries Institute (NFI) have released new resources to help suppliers comply and fill orders.

In a blog post, Rick Stein, VP, fresh foods at FMI, wrote: “For a seafood-buying office, one of the first major career challenges can come in understanding the various specifications for various seafood products. Indeed, buying offices may vary from organization to organization. Different buying offices create multiple ways of describing what buyers actually want. The suppliers are often caught up trying to interpret each organization’s requirements.”

To help streamline the process, FMI and McLean, Va.-based NFI created fillable forms for retailers and wholesalers to use when sending seafood product specifications to suppliers. The fillable forms allow organizations to indicate their product requirements and enable seafood suppliers to consolidate their communication.

Stein said that these forms will allow:

  • Buyers to communicate their needs in a more robust and consistent way.
  • Suppliers to be able to review product specifications that use consistent language.
  • Buyers to learn more about the specific requirements they need to communicate to maximize efficiency.

Standardizing the language and specifications for each seafood species will help suppliers better comply and fill orders.

FMI and NFI encourage members to use these forms and have organizational buyers adopt them. Forms currently exist for shrimp, scallop and snow crab, while additional forms are being developed for salmon (farm-raised and wild-caught) and finfish.

In its “Power of Seafood 2021” report, FMI found that the seafood department was a major driver of higher grocery sales last year, having seen a 28.4% sales uptick, surpassing the sales growth of the produce, meat or deli departments. In total, fresh, frozen and shelf-stable seafood generated more than $16.6 billion in sales for food retailers in 2020.

FMI works with and on behalf of the entire food industry to advance a safer, healthier and more efficient consumer food supply chain. The Arlington, Va.-based trade organization brings together a wide range of members across the value chain — from retailers that sell to consumers to producers that supply food and other products, as well as the wide variety of companies providing critical services — to amplify the collective work of the industry.