As the global seafood industry gathered for the annual China Fisheries & Seafood Expo in Qingdao last week, the ASC took the opportunity to host two events, the Sustainable Seafood Forum and the ASC Responsible Seafood Round Table, in response to the increasing interest in responsible aquaculture.
Promoting sustainable seafood in China
The Sustainable Seafood Forum, co-hosted by China Aquatic Products Processing and Marketing Alliance (CAPPMA), WWF China, Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and the ASC, has become a staple in the annual calendar for Chinese seafood stakeholders. The forum drew a crowd of more than 300 and included industry experts, commercial partners and NGOs.
Held at the Qingdao Intercontinental Hotel, this year’s forum focused on the development of the responsible fisheries and sustainable seafood market. ASC contributed to the morning session by participating in the lively panel discussion on the emerging market for sustainable seafood and the trends of Chinese consumption. The ASC was also involved in the popular afternoon breakout session on sustainable seafood, where they provided an overview of the programme and how they have worked to promote Chinese producers, which closed a fruitful day of information sharing and stakeholder engagement.
Roundtable convenes seafood stakeholders
The ASC Responsible Seafood Round Table: From Supply Chain to Win-Win, held at the Qingdao International Expo, provided the opportunity to highlight ASC’s progress, review emerging trends in the China seafood market, and discuss the demand for responsible seafood and the developments and transformation of the seafood market.
Attendees gained valuable insight into the urgent needs of the regional seafood industry and the emerging need for responsible aquaculture. Information about how to become certified was also featured along with a case study of an ASC certified farm and the benefits of aquaculture certification.
The session opened with remarks from Di Gang, Deputy-Secretary General of CAPPMA. Ms. Yuxin, of WWF China moderated a panel discussion featuring Zhu Changliang, President of Liangzhilong Frozen Food Co.,ltd., Xu Mingbiao, President of Heislik, Li Ning, Founder and Sales Manager of Fresh Live seafood Co.,ltd. and Contessa Kellogg-Winters, ASC Communications Director.
Following a presentation about ASC’s growth in China and future plans for the region by Commercial Director Esther Luiten, the session continued with a presentation by Hao Junfeng, Sales Manager of Liaoning Ande foodstuff co.,ltd who outlined the improvements they made to achieve ASC certification. Li Haifeng, Director of Foodstuff Auditing at SAI Global provided an overview of the areas that prove most challenging for farms seeking to join the programme. Mr. Jin Zhonghao, Director of Market Transformation for WWF China brought the afternoon to a close after offering insights on the importance of ASC as a change agent for China’s formidable aquaculture sector.
Continued growth in the local market
As global seafood market leader and the world’s largest aquaculture producing country, transforming the Chinese aquaculture sector towards environmental sustainability and social responsibility is imperative.
“The Chinese market has always held great potential. Year by year we have seen clear signals that the industry is ready to move towards responsible sourcing throughout the supply chain,” said Esther Luiten, ASC’s Commercial Director.
To date, there are nearly 40 ASC Chain of custody certificate holders and more than 200 approved products with the ASC logo in China.
“China is the world’s largest producer, consumer and exporter of seafood. As a market, it represents an unprecedented opportunity to create real change by minimising aquaculture’s environmental and social impact. That is why it is so encouraging to see increasing demand for certified farmed seafood from a growing number of local partners and stakeholders. I am excited for what the next couple of years will hold in terms of further growth!” said Luiten.