The first Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certified shrimp products have been launched to the market.
ASC certified shrimp will be available across Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark and Sweden.
Early suppliers of ASC certified shrimp include LENK whose shrimp comes from Faquimex, Miramar, which sources shrimp from Vina Clean Seafood, and Planets Pride and SeaSam Food, which sources from Omarsa.
LENK Seafood Services are introducing their ‘TopSea ASC Gourmet King Prawns ‘easy peel’ product in Germany and Austria this month and in France early next year. In Sweden, Miramar is launching 12 certified shrimp products across retail stores and food service providers, also Planets Pride and SeaSam Food are introducing ASC certified shrimp across Scandinavia.
Coop Switzerland is the first retailer to introduce ASC certified shrimp. Since last week, they have offered ASC labelled shrimp sourced from Thadimexco in nearly 800 stores across Switzerland.
Heiko Lenk, Managing Director of LENK Seafood Services said: “This launch is very exciting for us! We have been eagerly anticipating the introduction of our premium ASC labelled responsibly farmed TopSea shrimp to the market.
“At LENK we understand the value that certified responsibly farmed shrimp brings to our customers in the German speaking markets and the rest Europe. For retailers, they can give their consumers the assurance that the shrimp they buy has been farmed with methods that minimise the impact on the environment and society.”
“The launch of ASC certified shrimp to the market is a critical milestone for the ASC,” said Chris Ninnes, ASC’s CEO.
“The demand for farmed shrimp is growing globally. It is increasingly important to ensure that shrimp is farmed responsibly to minimise its environmental footprint and safeguard the rights of farm workers and local communities.
“This is where consumers really can make a difference – by choosing ASC certified products they encourage more shrimp producers to improve their operations and reduce any negative impacts. The new ASC certified products will help more consumers realise the importance of choosing responsibly farmed seafood across 1000s of European retailers.”
Responsible approach to shrimp aquaculture
Suppliers often work closely with their producers to support them in implementing responsible farming practices that meet the ASC standards.
“It is a difficult process which involves investment and working together as partners. We do this with full conviction, as we really believe in it; ultimately, the farmers benefit as well,” said Lenk.
Helping consumers make a responsible choice
The on-pack ASC logo helps consumers make an informed choice when shopping for seafood. Products carrying the logo reassure customers that the fish is sourced from a farm that minimises its environmental and social impact.
Companies in the supply chain that wish to sell their products as ASC certified must pass a rigorous Chain of Custody third party audit by an independent accredited certifier. The companies must demonstrate that they have solid traceability systems in place to guarantee that no product mixing or substitution can occur.
Certified companies are subject to annual surveillance audits, unannounced audits and product trace backs.
ASC certified farms deliver a cleaner seabed, cleaner water and healthier fish, preserve the diversity of the species and wild population, and follow strict feed requirements and ensuring social responsibility.