Stakeholders from the west and east coast of Sweden discussed how to apply for licenses to establish and run a farm, what licenses are needed to sell mussels as human food and animal feed as well as what other issues need to be considered.
Experiences were drawn from the Swedish west coast, where mussel farming for human consumption is well established with a rigorous licensing system. After listening to speakers explaining the licensing system and food safety regulation on the west coast, participants discussed in smaller groups how these licensing procedures can be transferred to the east coast of Sweden, where mussel farming is still a developing industry.
The participants agreed that there needs to be stronger cooperation between different authorities on the east coast concerning permits and licensing procedures, and that the county administrative boards have an important role in guiding other authorities. Moreover, current legislation is based on experiences from the west coast, but we need more knowledge and experience of mussel farming in order to research the specific conditions of mussel farming as these differ substantially from those on the west coast.
Finally, if mussels were to be sold as human food, stakeholders will need make a concerted effort to improve the reputation of mussels in the Baltic Proper. Only then can we create a real market for east coast mussels.
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Notes from the meeting (in Swedish)