It has only been a few months since farms could apply for certification against the ASC Seabass, Seabream, and Meagre Standard, and already the first ASC labelled products have hit the shelves in Germany and Switzerland.
Two retailers, Migros in Switzerland and Lidl in Germany, have been the first to launch ASC certified seabream products in the second half of September.
Lidl Germany began offering whole-fish packs of fresh ASC seabream in their stores in Southern Germany in the week beginning September 16. Migros started selling ASC labelled seabream in their certified fresh fish counters in the very same week, and has switched its entire product range of seabream to ASC. In addition, all of Migros’ sea bass products will be switched to ASC beginning in November.
“The ASC programme is about rewarding and encouraging responsible aquaculture by allowing consumers and retailers to choose certified products that they know they can trust,” said Barbara Janker, ASC Commercial Marketing Manager for Germany, Switzerland and Austria. “So it is great to see a big demand for ASC labelled seabream. It takes work from not only the farm but the whole supply chain to get ASC certified seabream into the shelves. We’d like to congratulate Migros and Lidl Germany for sourcing these products so quickly, and we know that this is just the beginning, with more retailers around Europe set to follow suit.”
The new standard launched in 2018, and farms were able to apply for certification following a six-month effective period that ended in March this year. The first farms to be ASC certified achieved this in June, and many more have followed with over 20 farms now certified in Turkey, Greece, Croatia and Albania.
For a product to carry the ASC label, it must come from an ASC certified farm, but that’s not all. Any company involved in the processing, packaging or sale of the product must have Chain of Custody (CoC) certification. This provides assurance that the product is kept separate from non-certified products throughout the entire supply chain, giving consumers confidence that fish with an ASC label really comes from a responsibly managed farm.