ASC doubles number of certified farm sites in UK

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The Aquaculture Stewardship Council has logged record growth in ASC certification in the UK, with the number of certified farm sites doubling since February 2022.

Forty farm sites are now ASC certified in the UK, including finfish and shellfish producers. A further 18 farms are in initial audit stage with a view to being certified by the end of 2023.

From January 2022 to January 2023, 16 more companies became ASC Chain of Custody holders – up from 88 at the start of the period. As of March 2023, there are 139 UK Chain of Custody holders.

Lorraine Gallagher, ASC UK and Ireland Market Development Manager, said: “We are delighted to see such an increase in the number of farms and companies in the UK joining the ASC programme or becoming ASC Chain of Custody holders. We know that market demand is driving this increase and we expect even more farms and companies to take up this opportunity over 2023 and beyond”.

The ASC standards for aquaculture industry include requirements covering the potential impacts of the farms on the environment, workers, animal health and the surrounding communities.

Farmers choose the ASC programme to access market demand while proving their commitment to responsible farming practices, the ASC said, while supply chain companies choose ASC for its flexible sourcing and reputational benefits.

Ian Laister, Managing Director, Bakkafrost Scotland

Bakkafrost Scotland recently achieved ASC certification for four salmon farms in Scotland in 2023.

Ian Laister, Managing Director at Bakkafrost Scotland, said: “ASC develops and manages some of the strictest quality standards in the industry, increasingly sought after by customers. includes requirements covering aspects such as water quality, responsible sourcing of feed, animal health, fair working conditions and maintaining positive relationships in our communities in which we live and work.

“Bakkafrost Scotland is very much aligned to this level of quality control and inspection and happy to be working with the ASC team to develop the scheme across our business in Scotland.”

In the UK alone, demand for ASC labelled consumer products rose by 62% in 2022. The UK is trending above the global average which sits at a strong 14% year-on-year increase.

In addition to commitments from Sainsbury’s and MOWI to source ASC certified products, New England Seafood (NESI) has also recently committed to 100% sourcing of ASC certified seabass and seabream in its “Fish Said Fred” range. These products retail in Ocado, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose.

“NESI is proud to use the ASC logos on our range and we recognise the high standards and practices required to gain ASC certification. ASC offers us and our customers assurance that both planet and people are at the forefront of aquaculture operations, both now and into the future”, said Ruth Hoban, Head of Sustainability, NESI.

 

 

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