Today over 100 participants attended the ASC Update meeting at the European Seafood Exposition 2013, to listen to ASC’s CEO Chris Ninnes, Mr Cui He of the China Aquatic Products Processing & Marketing Alliance (CAPPMA), and Esther Luiten of The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH).
Chris Ninnes was delighted to see so many supporters interested in the latest news about the ASC. “We have many important projects coming up this year. Apart from the joint European Union funded project ‘Greening the Supply of Chinese Tilapia’ with our partners CAPPMA and WWF China, we look forward to launching the salmon, trout, bivalves (clams, mussels, oysters, scallops) and abalone farm certification programmes for responsible aquaculture this year. I am pleased to confirm that the salmon standard has been approved by the ASC governance and audits can start immediately” stated Ninnes. “ASC will also shortly start an initiative to consolidate feed requirements across all of the existing ASC standards into a single Feed Standard to help the aquaculture feed industry to operate on a more environmentally and socially responsible basis. We will undertake this work collaboratively along with GAA, GLOBAL G.A.P, the MSC and SFP. Others have been invited. The initiative will be managed by the ASC and is expected to concluded by the end of 2015.”
Yesterday, the ASC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) and GlobalG.A.P. The three partners agreed to identify areas of common interests. “We will work collaboratively on areas in which we believe that we can achieve our mutual goal more efficiently – that is to support, recognise and promote responsible aquaculture and aquaculture processing practices. We are tremendously excited about the prospects for collaboration that this groundbreaking MoU will encourage. It will benefit all of our stakeholders. Initially, work will start on the harmonisation of feed standards and exploring ways in which audit processes can provide best value” according to Ninnes.
Mr Cui He, Vice Executive President and Secretary-General of CAPPMA also joined the meeting to speak about the ‘Greening the Supply of Chinese Tilapia’ project. The project was launched in 2012 as a joint initiative between ASC, CAPPMA and WWF China to help Chinese tilapia producers to operate in a more environmentally and socially responsible manner. The project has been made possible by a grant of €1 million from the European Union EU-China Environmental Governance Programme. “The Chinese tilapia industry is constantly looking for ways of improving the its development in a responsible way. Through the ‘Greening the Supply of Chinese Tilapia’ project, CAPPMA will to direct Chinese tilapia farmers towards complying with the global ASC Tilapia Standard for responsible aquaculture. With the encouragement that large tilapia producers becoming ASC certified will provide, CAPPMA hopes that the goal of more responsible farming development of the Chinese tilapia industry can be achieved quickly as more companies gain ASC certification, thereby minimising the adverse impacts of fish farming on the environment and communities.” said Mr. Cui.
The Farmers in Transition Fund (FIT) has been created by the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) to stimulate and support the production of responsibly farmed shrimp that will help reduce environmental and social impacts of aquaculture. It partners with retail and food service companies to encourage suppliers to improve their farming practice and actively engages governments, sector and other stakeholders in the countries of production. “Due to the ASC-logo consumers can easily recognise responsibly produced seafood products. While some farmers can meet the Standards and thus benefit from the logo, the majority of producers, for example shrimp farmers in developing countries, face serious challenges in meeting the requirements. Our Farmers In Transition Fund is a market-driven programme that encourages suppliers to invest in more responsible practices. By supporting those farmers real improvement under water is being achieved and the increasing demand for responsibly farmed shrimps is the being served” said Esther Luiten, IDH Senior Program Manager Aquaculture.