How are we funded and how do we work? Your key questions answered…
The Aquaculture Stewardship Council is an independent, non-profit organisation. We are committed to ensuring the global fish farming industry (aquaculture) protects workers, respects the local communities where farms work, and does not harm the environment.
Here’s a bit more information on our independence and funding:
Where does ASC get its money?
ASC receives income from sales of products sold with the ASC logo. However, using the logo is completely voluntary, so certified farms don’t have to display the logo if they don’t want to. We also apply for grants for specific projects that are designed to drive improvements in the aquaculture industry. One recent example is a grant from the Walton Family, a philanthropic organisation, for a joint project with Fair Trade USA to support improvements in Indonesian aquaculture.
Who owns ASC?
ASC is completely self-owned and independent. We work with many partners, including local communities, government agencies, NGOs, scientists, academics and the industry. But none of them has any ownership of the ASC. We are completely independent and committed to full transparency in everything we do.
Does ASC certify farms?
No. The ASC sets standards for the industry to follow, including the environmental and social targets that farms have to achieve in order to become certified and have the ASC logo on their products. But the ASC plays no part in the certification process of any individual farm. Farms looking to become certified must be audited by a team of qualified, external, independent assessors who operate in a completely impartial way.
Can farms or businesses buy ASC certification?
Absolutely not. The ASC sets standards, but it has nothing to do with the individual audits which decide whether a farm has met them and can be certified. All payments for the audit process are agreed with the independent auditor, who are paid directly by the farms. The ASC does not receive any money for any part of the audit, or any pre-audit activities. ASC does monitor the programme closely, and audit reports are published in full on the ASC website, to ensure that certification decisions are purely based on how the farm is managed, and nothing else.