In September 2019, a quality evaluation of fish products was held at the Biotechnical Faculty of Ljubljana, where the assessment committee from the Dr. Wagner Institute in Austria evaluated 21 samples of fish products submitted by five Slovenian aquaculture producers to analyse the quality of those local products.
The results of this evaluation of fisheries products were announced during one of the six Countryside in the City events, organised every year from June to October at the main market in Ljubljana. The event links food producers to consumers and promotes local and national products. The aim of the evaluation was to enable fish farmers to compare local fish products using objective criteria, and to increase their value by driving quality. A second sensory evaluation is expected in October 2020 and in the future, it is expected to replicate this project at the national level.
The project also developed a quality label for the evaluated products, establishing three categories (gold, silver and bronze) to offer assurance to consumers that they are buying quality food and to encourage them to choose local over imported fisheries products with high food miles.
After the first phase of the project, the following results were achieved:
This kind of study could be adapted to promote local products in most areas where fisheries products are undervalued or poorly known as a way to promote their quality.
Lessons & contribution to CLLD objectives:
Lessons: Promotion was a particularly important part of the project, in order to achieve a local awareness and give visibility to the project. Limited human resources was a key challenge, requiring strong personal dedication of every stakeholder involved
Contribution to CLLD objective: Adding value to aquaculture products