Market-place Model

It’s a digital platform for consumers and merchants without warehousing the products. It is a platform where there are many sellers from around the country or even globe who can connect with large number of customers. Marketplace model allow companies (e.g Flipkart) to act as aggregators to third party merchants who can sell via the online firm’s platform. The recent development is with online giant Amazon who showed keen interest in food categories in general and fresh categories in particular as the last frontier categories for them as being done globally. Many of the seafood players register as third-party merchants on the marketplace model platforms like Amazon, Flipkart etc.

Daily chores of fish department in typical modern trade store

Every organisation follows its own standards for fish department. However, generally

there is a department manager who is responsible for ensuring normal functioning

of the department with his/her subordinates and superiors. Department manager

manages the regular w'ork flow' which defines all the procedures in fish department.

Below' is the normal w'orkflow of the daily chores of a typical fish department.

  • 1. Calculation of stocks in hand, sales pattern and forecasted demand will be taken into consideration by department manager based on which the purchase order for the stocks get raised.
  • 2. Fish receiving will happen as per aligned day and time. Quality checks as per set standards of the company will get followed in presence of quality personnel along w'ith fish department staff and goods receiving staff. Only those fish stocks that fulfil the criteria are received and rest get rejected.
  • 3. FIFO (First In First Out) principle gets strictly follow'ed in all retail formats.
  • 4. There is a manual and process set for all the activities to be follow'ed in fish processing area. Department manager monitors all those activities.
  • 5. Presentation of fish merchandise is a key for sale of seafood and more hygienic, appealing and attractive display attracts customers.
  • 6. Stock monitoring and pricing checks will get obseived by department manager periodically every day in order to keep exact track of business.
  • 7. Main aim of the department manager is to provide excellent service to the customers. Setting own example by doing and training the staff in the department is crucial to addition of new customers. Customer sendee is top priority in all modem trade stores.
  • 8. Usually there is no fish return policy across all the formats working in India.

Guidelines for seafood retailing in modern trade stores

Guidelines provide assistance and guidance for the seafood safety and quality management by giving practical information and suggestions on how to ensure seafood safety and quality during all stages of retail distribution and sale. There is a public perception that seafood belongs to high risk categoiy. Food safety is of the utmost importance in the mind of the consumer. Therefore, it makes sense for the seafood industry and retail operators to be perceived as providing safe, quality food.

Seafood should always reach the consumer in good condition & it must be handled with care and speed always. Seafood spoilage is the physical and biochemical deterioration or breakdown of tissue in seafood. As seafood spoils, the external appearance undergoes great change, particularly the skin, eyes, gills, flesh and organs. At the same time, the odour changes from an initial fresh odour to a sour fishy smell.

Contamination is the introduction of a contaminant on to or into a food. There are three types of contamination namely bacterial, chemical and physical. Contamination of seafood may result from exposure to the environment (for example, polluted waters) or through direct contact during processing. It is often during processing activities that bacterial contamination of seafood occurs. Even hygienically produced seafood will have some bacteria on it after processing. Seafood spoilage cannot be stopped, but it can be slowed to a minimum. Reducing the temperature of seafood is the single most effective way of slowing spoilage, obtaining maximum shelf life, and preventing food poisoning. Temperature control is critical for controlling the rate of seafood spoilage and preventing bacterial growth. One day of shelf life is lost for eveiy horn fish remains at room temperature (25°C). Seafood at -10°C looks and feels as hard as seafood at -30°C, yet it will deteriorate more rapidly. Causes and effects and mode of control of fish spoilage are given in Annexure 1 and 2 respectively.

People cany bacteria in their gut, nose, mouth, ears, hair and on their skin. These bacteria are quite normal and do not affect us, however, if they are transferred to food they can grow to numbers that can cause food poisoning. Staphylococcus aureus (Golden Staph) lives in the hair, ears, nose, annpits, groin, cuts, pimples, and boils as well as under jewellery worn. The intestines of humans can also contain salmonella and E. Coli. Bacteria can be transferred to our hands when we use the toilet, scratch our face or sneeze into our hands. Cross contamination of seafood with these bacteria can occur during any handling and preparation activity. Good personal hygiene is therefore essential for the safe handling and preparation of seafood and for preventing bacterial contamination of seafood.

It is a good idea for seafood businesses to document their requirements for personal hygiene and have them accessible to all staff. A sign or poster of the requirements may be useful. It is important to note that visitors and contractors must also abide by the personal hygiene requirements. Good premise-hygiene is essential for producing safe seafood and a good shelf life. Good premise-hygiene includes cleaning and sanitation of seafood preparation surfaces and equipment, controlling pests and vermin (such as rodents, cockroaches, flies) & effective waste disposal. Seafood purchased by a retail store for onward selling to the consumer, must be safe and of sufficient quality to ensure it will not spoil during expected storage times. Good handling and storage practices are needed by the retail store to ensure that the customer receives safe seafood.

Traditionally, food safety has been determined through premises inspection and end product testing. This form of reactive control has proved costly and ineffective. To reverse the increasing incidences of food poisoning, the new proactive approach to managing food safety is the adoption of food safety programs. Developing a food safety program will help a seafood business understand its product and process, and will ensure controls are in place for identified food safety hazards. The proactive approach of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) has been adopted internationally by regulators and industry. A food safety program (sometimes called a food safety plan) is a written document which details the business activities and responsibilities associated with the production of safe food. It documents staff and operational requirements necessary to minimise the risk of food poisoning. The food safety program will detail how a food business is going to maintain staff and premises hygiene, and manage the safety of seafood from ingr edient receipt - during food preparation and storage - through to customer delivery. The identification of potential food safety hazards and then methods of control may be achieved by utilising HACCP principles, or by documenting them into procedures. The decision about quality rests ultimately with the consumer. Quality seafood can be defined as seafood that meets the customer’s requirements. Quality is a combination of various properties that influence acceptability. Few of the attributes that determine the quality of retail seafood may include freshness, food safety, size and appearance, texture and taste, nutritional value, cost, packaging sendee etc.

The importance of seafood display and presentation cannot be over-emphasised. The display should lure the customer to the shop and an interesting presentation attracts customers. Seafood presentation, the image of premises and staff all have an impact on customers. Attributes required are staff knowledge about product (know about today’s product), promotion of freshness through presentation, hygienic premises, well-uniformed staff, hill display in cabinets, good housekeeping, effective lighting, plenty of ice on fish etc. Since many customers may not be familiar with the large variety of seafood, face-to-face selling and product knowledge is veiy important. Customers may know only a few species of fish, one or two ways of preparing or cooking seafood, and may also lack knowledge on the storage and shelf life of seafood. Therefore, seafood retailers who talk to their customers about handling, quality, and meal suggestions are more likely to enhance their sales. Staff appearance and manners too have a marked effect on customer perceptions. Positive memories are what motivate customers to return.

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