Vietnam is one of the biggest producers of ASC certified seafood with hundreds of certified farms, but one company still managed to achieve a first for the country last year.
Lenger Seafood Vietnam is a clam producer based in the Nam Dinh province in the north of the country, and following certification by independent conformity assessment body Control Union it became the first of its kind to achieve ASC certification in Vietnam.
In fact, while there are already ASC certified clam farms elsewhere, Lenger is the first anywhere in the world to achieve certification for farming this particular species of clam – known as the hard clam (Meretrix Lyrata).
Last month an event was held by the Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development of Vietnam in coordination with Nam Dinh Province’s People’s Committee. A representative of Control Union Vietnam was also in attendance to present the certificate.
Vietnam is the world’s third biggest producer of ASC certified seafood by volume, but this has so far all come from shrimp and pangasius farms. Clam farms are certified against the ASC Bivalve Standard, which also covers oysters, mussels, and others. While there are currently around 260 farms around the world certified against the ASC Bivalve Standard, the majority of these are oyster and mussel farms, with just two certified clam farms prior to Lenger’s certification, both of which were for different species of clam.
While bivalves can be ideal species to farm with minimal impacts, if they are farmed irresponsibly they can still have negative social and environmental effects, which the ASC Bivalve Standard aims to minimize. In fact, a recent blog looked at why we do need to certify these fascinating creatures.
Control Union is one of the third-party bodies that carry out independent audits of farms against the ASC standards. The ASC programme is a third-party certification programme, meaning all audits and decisions around certification are carried out independently. This is widely regarded as the most robust and consistent method of certification.