Distinctive Maine Quality Trademark Now Available to Shellfish Dealers
October 30, 2017 – Maine shellfish dealers have a new opportunity to highlight the quality of their products.
Maine’s Red, White and Blue Quality Trademark is now available for Maine harvested shellfish thanks to a special modification of rules by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. The patriotic three color overlay with the State of Maine outline has been used for decades to identify other Maine agricultural and natural resource products. The newly modified rules, with their specific standards, now allow shellfish dealers to utilize this iconic logo to promote Maine shellfish.
The idea to establish standards for the shellfish industry came from the Department of Marine Resources Shellfish Advisory Council. “We’ve seen other industries like lobster use a seal of approval such as the Marine Stewardship Council’s certification to help their marketing efforts,” said Council Chair Lewis Pinkham. “We looked at all sorts of avenues to help tell customers that this industry is sustainable and meets the highest standards, and it turned out that the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry had it in place.”
“Consumers have long recognized the Quality Maine Trademark because it represents the highest standards of product quality and safety,” said DACF Commissioner Walt Whitcomb. “It makes sense that Maine shellfish dealers, who must comply with strict federal, state, and international standards, be given an opportunity to make use of this valuable marketing resource.”
“Maine shellfish dealers meet an extremely high standard for health and safety and deserve credit for providing consumers with a consistently exceptional product,” said DMR Public Health Bureau Director Kohl Kanwit. “The Quality Maine Trademark will give consumers an immediately recognizable symbol that communicates the Maine shellfish industry’s commitment to quality.”
The Quality Maine Trademark symbol, which is a silhouette of the State of Maine divided into three horizontal sections, may be used in advertising or packaging materials to market molluscan shellfish including mussels, clams or oysters which have been harvested exclusively in Maine.
Licensed users must have a product recall procedure and must be compliant with applicable federal and state regulations. They must also hold a current and valid Shellfish Sanitation Certificate issued by the Department of Marine Resources. Licensed users must also make health inspection records from DMR available for review, and must allow DACF staff to inspect and analyze all product labeled with the Quality Maine Trademark.
Renewal of the license to use the Quality Maine Trademark is contingent on the applicant having been compliant with the DACF regulation that establishes the standards for its use.