An estimated 70 percent of farmed aquatic species are dependent on feed to complete their production cycle; and feed constitutes the greatest single input in terms of costs and volumes for marine and freshwater fish farming.
Feed thus represents a major component of the environmental and social footprints of aquaculture, and it was therefore important for the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) to define precisely what constitutes responsible and sustainable fish feed production. Considering the environmental and social footprints of aquafeed is made all the more important since aquaculture is the fastest-growing animal protein production sector in the world and is forecast by the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to provide two thirds of seafood destined for human consumption by 2030.
Contact person: Michiel Fransen
Standard in development – Feed
The global ASC Feed Standard will act as a tool to help recognise and reward responsible aquaculture feed and will be applicable to all ASC farm standards. It will also provide an additional mechanism for producers and retailers eager to minimise and mitigate environmental and social impacts throughout their supply chain; and provide more traceability and transparency to their stakeholders, including on topics such as GMOs. It is also important to remember that the sustainability-conscious trend to decrease the proportion of marine ingredients in feed results in a greater proportion of plant ingredients being used, thus ‘shifting’ some of the various feed production impacts onto land. These – too – need mitigating and the ASC Feed Standard proposes to address these issues.
The Feed Standard
The production of the feed’s raw material ̶ marine and terrestrial ingredients — raises issues throughout the feed supply chain. These can include habitat loss, overharvesting, biodiversity impacts, pollution, poor labour conditions, human rights abuses and lack of community consultation, amongst others. These social and environmental issues will be addressed by the ASC Feed Standard, which will also include other key sustainability indicators such as greenhouse gas emissions, water and energy consumption etc.
The principles, criteria and indicators of the Feed Standard will be verified at the feed mill level. Mills will among others need to have a Responsible Sourcing Policy to demonstrate policies and management processes are in place relating to sourcing of all types of ingredients that represent more than 1% of total ingredients by weight. Such Policy will also include a commitment to continuous improvement in relation to the sustainability levels of the primary sources of the ingredients used for the manufacture of all feed. When completed, the Feed Standard certification process will follow rigorous requirements as outlined in the ASC Certification and Accreditation Requirements.
Concurrently, the ASC is also running a process (see Aligned Standard) to simplify and harmonise the structure of all current standards aiming to improve implementation efficiency, simplify accreditation and auditor training, promote further program uptake and to facilitate the expansion of the farm standards to cover new species and production systems.
Timeline : New Standard – Feed
- Aug. 21 - Oct. 21, 2017
- Status: Closed
MSC Mass Balance CoC Standard is out for public consultation until 30 September 2017.
Received stakeholder feedback on second draft ASC Responsible Feed Standard:
- June 30 - Sept. 11, 2015
- Status: Closed
Next to digital outreach to stakeholders, there where also 4 regional outreach events organized to elaborate on the initial draft of the ASC Responsible Feed Standard and discuss with stakeholders on the content. The regional workshops where organised in:
- Bangkok (Thailand) - 4 August 2015
Find the presentation here (Thai translated):
Feed Project_Initial Draft_Workshops_Thai
- Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) - 5 August 2015
Find the presentation here (Vietnamese translated):
Feed Project_Initial Draft_Workshops_Vietnamese
- Guangzhou (China) - 7 August 2015
Find the presentation here (Chinese translated):
Feed Project_Initial Draft_Workshop China
- Santiago (Chile) - 11 August 2015
Terms of reference
- Marine Ingredients v1.0
- Plant Ingredients v1.0
- Animal Ingredients v1.0
- Micro Ingredients v1.0
- Supply Chain v1.0
- Feed Mill Requirements v1.0
- ASC Feed Project SC - meeting 8 Oct 2013
- ASC Feed Project 1st SC - meeting 31 Oct 2013
- ASC Feed Project 2nd SC - meeting 24 January 2014
- ASC Feed Project 3rd SC - meeting 9 May 2014
- ASC Feed Project 4th SC - meeting 11 August 2014
- ASC Feed Project 5th SC - meeting 30 October 2014
- ASC Feed Project 6th SC - meeting 4 February 2015
- ASC Feed Project 8th SC - meeting 30 October 2015