Peru-based scallop producer, AcuaPesca Group, is the first company in the world to enter assessment against the ASC Bivalve Standard. AcuaPesca is seeking ASC certification for their five scallop farms in Peru.
The audit of AcuaPesca Group’s farms is due to take place 13-16 May 2014. AcuaPesca is keen to see their scallops ASC certified and their ASC labelled seafood available in the market place. “AcuaPesca is looking forward to promoting ASC certified scallops,” said Carlos Goldin, President of AcuaPesca.
“We are proud to be the first scallop farm in the world to undergo ASC assessment. Our Group of farms exports 2,000 metric tons of scallop meat to France, Italy, USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Chile and other markets.
“We realise that ASC certification will differentiate our product from the rest of the producers. In addition, customers will recognise our product as environmentally and socially responsible.
The first ASC certified bivalve products are expected to be available to the market before the end of the year.
“Since the bivalve auditor training last October, there has been growing interest from several companies in becoming ASC certified for bivalves, so we are delighted that AcuaPesca has entered their scallop farms for ASC assessment,” said Chris Ninnes, ASC’s CEO.
“Demand for third-party certified seafood is growing and markets such as Belgium and France are increasingly seeking responsibly certified products. Products such as scallops are important to these countries.
“We already have ASC certified responsibly farmed pangasius, tilapia and salmon available in the market and we now look forward to the addition of farmed bivalves from farms that have proved to limit their environmental and social impacts.”
Built into the ASC certification process are a number of opportunities for people to comment on the audit taking place.
The announcement of a farm audit is publicly visible for at least 30 days before the actual audit. Once the farm has been assessed by an accredited auditor the draft farm audit report is published for a minimum of 10 working days on ASC’s website.
During this comments period, objections can be raised with the certifier who may include these considerations in an updated version of the audit report
The decision of whether or not the farm can become certified is based on the last version of the report.
The final audit report is published on the ASC website.
About scallop farming
The main consumers of scallops are in Japan, USA and France. Scallops are farmed around the world in coastal, subtidal environments. Scallops are filter-feeders, like all bivalves, and rely on natural plankton. Scallop farming in Chile and Peru use hanging culture techniques, which have less of an impact on the marine environment than culturing directly on the seabed.