Today the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) announces the appointment of Accreditation Services International (ASI) as their independent accreditation body. This demonstrates the ASC’s progress towards its core task, the management of the ASC standards, developed by the Aquaculture Dialogues, and the implementation of a world class certification process for aquaculture.
Philip Smith, CEO of the ASC: “The appointment of ASI as our independent accreditation body marks an important milestone in our development. We are pleased that we can start working on the implementation of the Global Standards for Responsible Aquaculture in close cooperation with ASI. We are now in a position to set up an independent third-party verification scheme and work with producers and certification bodies to develop robust processes for certification against the standards.”
Three sets of Global Standards for Responsible Aquaculture have been completed by the Aquaculture Dialogues so far: for tilapia, pangasius and bivalves (clams, mussels, oysters and scallops). Standards for six other aquaculture species (abalone, freshwater trout, salmon, shrimp, Seriola and cobia) are expected to be finalised towards the end of 2010 or early 2011.
Accreditation Services International: the accreditation body for the ASC
After evaluation of the available options, the ASC Supervisory Board decided ASI was the right accreditation body for the ASC. ASI is an independent accreditation body which delivers accreditation and other services to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and other certification schemes worldwide. Sam Ponder, ASI Managing Director: “By including independent third-party accreditation as an oversight process the ASC is demonstrating the maximum credibility and effectiveness of the ASC verification system.Accreditation endorses certification bodies’ competence, credibility, independence and integrity in carrying out their conformity assessment activities. One of the important outcomes of the implementation of standards by applicants for certification is that they assist in creating a benchmarking culture with the ultimate benefit of continuous improvement.”