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Michael Collins
June 26, 2019

What is Catch Weight?

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Catch weight, as it pertains to the food industry, is a measurement for the actual weight of a product when it is sent to a potential buyer. In most cases, catch weight is used for products that are considered high-value. This is because these products tend to vary in size and weight, thus yielding a varied value in which the product can be sold. Seafood is often measured via catch weight and is frequently referenced when catch weight is discussed. Catch weight is most aptly utilized by manufacturers that sell product by the pound or ounce as opposed to setting a blanket price for every parcel or package. This is done to balance the maximum value of the product and its overall worth.

This measurement system is seen in your every day supermarkets as well. For example, when you buy beef or poultry, the packaging will often look the same, however the price tags vary even though you are dealing with the same exact product. This is due to the catch weight measured to track and price the product as it appears for the consumer. The same concept is applied to the manufacturing world, wherein each package of a given product gets weighed and labeled with its weight already calculated. This is to show the manufacturer and the consumer that the price they are about to pay is determined by the weight of the product itself. In a way, this eliminates the ambiguity shrouding the seafood or meat and poultry market. In the old days, for example, ports and trading hubs would have to estimate the approximate price of a tuna or a package of beef. But it was only approximate, meaning the market-goer would have to take the merchant at his/her word. Today, the catch weight process ensures a fair estimate for a single product at the point of sale.

Another factor to consider is a product’s tendency to depreciate and even literally shrink over time during its stint in storage before it is shipped to the market or grocer. Let’s say an order of Mozzarella cheese is sold and shipped at 100 pounds for $2,000. If the product arrives at 95 pounds, you might consider this phenomenon as an appropriate example of the necessity for calculating in catch weight. Catch weight essentially accounts for that usually small margin of value depreciation in order to offer a fair price to the customer. Without catch weight, sellers previously had to undercharge for their product in order to anticipate a possible depreciation, resulting in less value than the original estimate. Catch weight measurement eliminates the need to undercharge for a product and gets the most value out of that product. Whether it be fish, meat, poultry or cheese, products have a tendency to wilt or shrink, hence the deviation from the original measurement. No customer one wants to pay for a product and be shorted, no provider wants to undercharge for their precious product. This is why catch weight is so essential.

The issue lies in the battle between actual and approximate, and catch weight helps to alleviate that discrepancy. Again, manufacturers are only inclined to track a product in catch weight only if the product is considered high-value. This is due to the fact that tracking a product via catch weight is a costly endeavor, so the product’s value must exceed the cost of catch weighting in order to yield any profit.

One of the best ways to track products through their catch weight is leveraging a top-flight ERP solution. With iNECTA Seafood for example, a company can keep tabs on their product in multiple ways. If the product demands catch weight tracking capability, iNECTA’s cutting-edge solution can keep the product in good standing order and render accurate information relating to the product every time on demand. An ERP solution like iNECTA is priceless for a company that tracks its product in catch weight.

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