We apply a third-party certification system, meaning that certification of farms and product suppliers are done by independent certifiers.
Certifiers are accredited and monitored by an independent accreditation organisation, Assurance Services International. This ensures our program is robust, credible and meets best practice guidelines for standard-setting organisations as set out by ISEAL Alliance and United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Certified farms are subject to an annual surveillance audits including a risk analysis, focusing on the farms improvement plan/s and on a sample of the standard requirements.
Who can assess against the ASC standards?
Certification companies, also referred to as a Conformity Assessment Body (CAB), are independent of the ASC. Certifiers must demonstrate to another independent organisation, Assurance Services International (ASI), that they have the skills to undertake assessments of our standards. Auditors are also required to participate in a standard specific training including a mandatory exam that they must pass. Following accreditation, the certification companies are monitored by ASI to ensure they continue to operate in line with the our Certification and Accreditation Requirements (CAR). To see in where the accredited Conformity Assessment Bodies are most active per region, you can go here to download the CAB Operation Overview.
Joint checklists ASC and GLOBALG.A.P.
To facilitate further audit efficiency for farms seeking multiple certification, and to be able to serve clients with varying demands, the ASC and GLOBALG.A.P. have co-developed joint checklists for the pangasius, salmon and shrimp standards. The documents below can be used for farms already holding a GLOBALG.A.P. certificate that would like to add ASC certification.
For Farms already holding ASC certification and also seeking GLOBALG.A.P. certification, the checklists are listed on GLOBALG.A.P’s website.
Our farm standards, audit manuals and certification and accreditation requirements have been developed with the intention to cover most real-life scenarios in farming practises. Nevertheless, situations occur where these documents do not provide a solution. For this reason, accredited certifiers can submit a variance request (VR)/variation on the content of theses documents seeking interpretation guidance or how to address situations not covered.
Once a variance request is received by ASC, it is discussed within the VR-committee. The committee consists of our Standards Director, Chair of Technical Advisory Group, Chair of Supervisory Board and our CEO. If a certifier encounters an identical situation for which an earlier variance request has been submitted and approved, then the certifier can refer to the earlier variance request in the audit report for its decision. An overview on the variance request and their status can be found via: