Last month saw Vietfish – Vietnam’s largest seafood trade show – take place in Ho Chi Minh City, and the ASC’s Programme Assurance Team (PAT) took advantage of this gathering of various industry representatives to organise a workshop for the region’s producers, auditors and other stakeholders to discuss shrimp certification.
The global nature of the ASC programme means that every region has its own unique challenges, and part of the PAT’s role is to work with local stakeholders to take these challenges into account and ensure standards are robustly applied wherever a farm is based.
This is a two-way process, in keeping with the collaborative principles driving the ASC, and this workshop was a mixture of presentations and informal brainstorming sessions, giving attendees the chance to feed back their own experiences and suggestions. The majority of attendees were ASC farm or Chain of Custody (CoC) certificate holders, but also in attendance were traders and importers, consultants, and representatives from conformity assessment bodies (CABs), the independent third-party organisations responsible for assessing farms against the ASC standards.
As well as presentations from ASC staff, the MSC’s Supply Chain Standards Manager for Southeast Asia, Shen Yan Liow, delivered updates on CoC and Bui Chi Thien, Quality Assurance Manager at Vietnam Clean Seafood, gave some on-the-ground experience from an ASC-certified farm.
The workshop was led by Anne-Laurence Huillery, ASC Programme Assurance Manager Vietnam. She said: “Vietfish provided us with a great opportunity to share updates about the ASC Shrimp Standard and new tools being developed with CABs and other local stakeholders. We were delighted with the attendance, not to mention the lively discussion.
“The aim of this event was to generate a two-way discussion with our stakeholders. It was invaluable to hear their experiences, and hear their suggestions and feedback about the standard.
“The Programme Assurance Team aims to maintain confidence in the implementation of the ASC standards, and this requires close collaboration with our CAB partners and other stakeholders. I’d like to thank everyone who attended and contributed.”