Key HACCP Methodology for Seafood Procurement

Written by Jasmine Tan Yan Lin, DPSM

Moving into the 21st century where seafood sustainability become a key question for many environmentalists, humans are constantly struggling to seek a balance between the exponential growth in demand for food source and its sustainability. With the advance in technology and the internet where product information and business-to-consumer (B2C) platform can easily influence a buyer’s interest, buyers are now overwhelmed with choices.

It is therefore imperative to have an industrial standardization for the seafood industry to align the type of quality, fishing process, rule and regulation for fishing; and area for fishing exploration. The Hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) is implemented to ensure that global food supplies are safe and maintain at a hazard-free and sustainable status for all consumers.

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP)

Hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) is a management system in which food safety is addressed through the analysis and control of biological, chemical, and physical hazards throughout the entire Seafood Supply Chain.
HACCP is a systematic approach to the identification, evaluation, and control of food safety hazards based on the following seven steps:

Step 1: Conduct a hazard analysis of biological, physical or chemical food hazards.
Step 2: Determine the critical control points (CCPs).
Step 3: Establish critical control limits such as cooking temperature and time.
Step 4: Establish monitoring procedures of CCPs.
Step 5: Establish corrective actions.
Step 6: Establish verification procedures to confirm that the HACCP system is working effectively.
Step 7: Establish record-keeping and documentation procedures.

Guidelines for HACCP

HACCP system is a methodology that provides fishermen, traders and consumers a reference point and guideline on the importance of safe and sustainable food supply chain. In order to achieve HACCP certification, prerequisite programs such as Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) are required to lay the foundation for successful implementation in a HACCP framework. The development of a HACCP framework will require five preliminary tasks to be accomplished before the application of the HACCP principles can be applied to the product chain and distribution processes.

The five preliminary tasks are:

HACCP Certification

The advantage of HACCP certification provides both buyer and seller an intangible confident and trust when it comes to the business table. For the buyer, it provides them with assurance in term of product quality, supply source and their commitment towards food source sustainability.

For the seller, HACCP does not just serve as a commitment toward supply sustainability but also act as a kind of branding tool for entry-to-market, opening up new business opportunities around the world.
HACCP, therefore, does not just bring a regulatory effect on the seafood industry but also commercial values. To certify with HACCP, the following steps need to be taken:

Step 1: Establish Contact

Get in touch with HACCP so that you can explain your requirements as well as get a quotation. HACCP have a support team ready for you 24/7 and it will understand your needs.

Step 2: Form Filling

Next, fill the certification intent form and then send it back to HACCP. When they receive this filled form, they will carry out a complete analysis of your organization with respect to the certification applied for.

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Step 3: Document Preparation

Upon agreement and acceptance of their quotation, their highly qualified team of experts will assist in preparing the mandatory certification documents. These are specific for the kind of certification one applies for, in this case, the HACCP certification.

Step 4: Pre-assessment

HACCP will then conduct an audit to pre-assess and ensure that your business meets all the required certifications. At the same time, they will offer the necessary training to you to ensure that you are ready for the certification when the time comes.

Step 5: Certification Audit

After they have prepared you, the next step will be the certification audit by the certification body. Their prior preparation and assistance during this final step guarantee your success.

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

MSC is one of the key councils that continuously formulate the environmental standard for fisheries in the seafood industry. It has more than 300 expert and individuals from different organizations around the world, with the objective to prevent unsustainable and illegal fishing around the world. In order to keep MSC standard applicable in the ever-changing eco-environment, MSC has taken the ‘Guidelines for the Eco-labelling of Fish and Fishery Products from Marine Wild Capture Fisheries’ adopted by UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 2005 as a benchmark to keep their environmental standard up-to-date.

MSC standard consists of three core principles wherein fisheries are required to complain to:

• Principle 1: Sustainable fish stocks

The fishing activity must be at a level which is sustainable for the targeted fish population. Any certified fishery must operate so that fishing can continue indefinitely and is not overexploiting the resources.

• Principle 2: Minimising environmental impact

Fishing operations should be managed to maintain the structure, productivity, function, and diversity of the ecosystem on which the fishery depends.

• Principle 3: Effective fisheries management

The fishery must meet all local, national and international laws and must have a management system in place to respond to changing circumstances and maintain sustainability.

Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC)

ASC was founded in 2010 by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). Aquaculture plays a major role in supplying food and social benefits for mankind whilst minimizing negative impacts on the environment.ASC is an independent international non-profit organization that manages the world’s leading certification and labeling programme with their main objective to educate buyers and sellers on the food source and environmental sustainability. The certification process is as below:

Impact for Procurement

The concept of supply sustainability is often mistaken in the procurement profession. Many common understandings on supply sustainability are often defined as cheaper price, better quality, and faster service. For a purchaser, these are basic values that were often looked upon as “good deal” without knowing whether such a “deal” will bring about supply sustainability. Cheap price does not necessarily mean sustainable business. Procurement in the 20th century need to look beyond not just short-term profitability but continuous and sustainable supply source; to ensure the survivability of their business.

1. How it impacts on sourcing?

Seafood is the most traded food commodity in the developing countries. It provides food security and income for up to a billion people worldwide. Despite so, it is worrying to know that 90% of the world’s fisheries are fully exploited or overfished. Unsustainable fishing practices, including illegal fishing, as well as the growing demand for seafood has already threaten both resources and livelihoods; and it will trigger a severe imbalance on demand and supply if we fail to manage it well.

2. How it influences on supplier selection?

As mentioned earlier, the HACCP signify a brand of confident to the purchasers when it comes to quality standard, logistics regulation, recall protocol, hazard-free and food safety. It enables a systematic approach to supplier qualification, selection, development and management. In short, it provides the purchaser a set of requirements when it comes to selecting the right business partner.

3. How it impacts on quality management?

HACCP provides a universal reference point to both buyer and seller when it comes to product selection, product compliance, especially when involved in a quality dispute. It helps to ensure that the supplier meets the set of the quality standard before payment can be made during a buying transaction. This help to eliminate unqualified supplier whilst only genuine supplier that can meet the quality standard be placed under the approved vendor list.

4. How it supports in terms of supplier management?

HACCP provides the supplier with a set of standard requirements to fulfilled. These are often used as a key performance indicator in a business contract to justify the deliverables of the supplier.

5. How it influences on buying process?

Purchasers are the key influences to the fisheries on how fishing is conducted. Purchasers can choose to buy and eat sustainable seafood, which bring about the least impact on the environment. The purchaser can choose to buy what is available seasonally in the market instead of defining a certain kind of seafood which are out of the legal fishing zone or season.

6. How it influences on Customer’s buying behavior?

Products with HACCP certification may often cost more than those that come without. This is not surprising as implementation cost have made up part of the selling price to the consumer. With the lack of knowledge on sustainable seafood, the consumer often challenges the price paid for a costlier product without knowing the values it brings about to them. More public education is required to gain support from the buying community to ensure sustainable seafood program like HACCP become more cost-effective in the future.

7. How it impacts on seafood sustainability?

Sustainable seafood is a way to protect our marine lives and ensure sufficient resources for our future generation. Sustainable fisheries target on non-extinct species including those that are at the bottom of the food chain. It is also imperative that sustainable wild fisheries be well managed and with close monitoring on the population growth so that over-fishing will not happen and our next generation will still have the chance to see them on the dining table.


While the knowledge on sustainable seafood continue to evolve in the seafood industry, more need to be done to bring awareness to the public on how buying from the right source play an important role in stabilizing the supply and demand globally. Not only does the imbalance between both bring about price volatile, but it also creates an elastic supply chain that is stressful to the business’s bottom-line. Procurement plays a leading role in creating values not just from dollars and cents but social responsibility to ensure that our future generation still enjoys a plate of Singapore Chilli Crab on the dining table. Procurement needs to do right the first time.


Florian Kozak. (2015). “How Sustainable Seafood can positively impact Developing Countries”. Retrieved from, accessed 15/03/2019.

HACCP Singapore. (2014). “Understanding HACCP”. Retrieved from, accessed 15/03/2019.

Khoo Chai Luan, DPSM. (2018). “Overcoming Key Challenges of Sustainable Procurement Practices”. Retrieved from SIPMM:, accessed 15/03/2019.

Liyana Othman. (2016). “Consumers are Key to Seafood Sustainability: WWF Singapore”. Retrieved from, accessed 15/03/2019.

SGS. (2019). “HACCP Certification”. Retrieved from, accessed 15/03/2019.

Winky Lim, ADPMM (2017). “Ensuring Sustainable Practices in Procurement for Effective Supply Management”. Retrieved from SIPMM:, accessed 15/03/2019.

About the Author: Jasmine Tan has several years of experiences in the field of procurement and supply management, and specifically in the food industry. She is a member of the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (SIPMM). Jasmine completed the Diploma in Procurement and Supply Management (DPSM) course on March 2019 at SIPMM Institute.