The first ASC certificate for responsible Pangasius farming has been awarded to Vinh Hoan’s Tan Hoa farm in Vietnam on September 11. After a robust and inclusive process, an important milestone has been reached for transforming Pangasius farming towards sustainability.
The Pangasius industry has grown exponentially in the past decade. The ASC certification guarantees that the Pangasius is farmed in a responsible manner with minimal negative impact on the environment, farm staff and surrounding communities. Vinh Hoan has adapted its production and working methods to the requirements of the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, the ASC Pangasius Standard. In 2003, the international World Wildlife Fund initiated the development of standards for responsible aquaculture.
Chris Ninnes: “This is a crucial milestone for the Pangasius industry, which is vital for the Vietnamese community in the Mekong Delta. The annual production has grown from 500.000 tonnes to 1,5 million tonnes in the last 10 years. This growth has also had serious negative side effects. ASC certification recognises and rewards farms that have ensured their production is organised in a responsible manner. This includes conservation of water resources, no misuse of antibiotics, responsible use of feed, and behaving in a socially responsible manner. The practices of Vinh Hoan are a great example for the whole industry.”
As an independent organisation, the ASC manages the standards and the certification process. ASC does not certify the farms itself; this is done by independent certifiers. The method is similar to the familiar certification programmes for wild capture fisheries (MSC) and forestry (FSC). In the case of Vinh Hoan, the independent certifier IMO (Institute for Marketecology) assessed the quality and working methods of Vinh Hoan and honoured the company with the first ASC certificate for responsible Pangasius farming.
The first Pangasius products with ASC logo are expected to be available in supermarkets in Europe shortly. More audits of farms have already taken place and are scheduled. Additional supply can be expected to reach store shelves over the coming months. ASC certified products are handled by a chain of certified companies, safeguarding traceability from farm to fork.
Pangasius is the second ASC certified species to appear in the market. Last month, the first certified Tilapia was introduced. Bivalves (mussels, oysters, scallops and clams), abalone, trout, salmon and shrimp will follow next year.