Aquaculture certification organisations come together to sign memo –

Aquaculture certification organisations come together to sign memo Published:  24 April, 2013

The Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA), Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) and GLOBALG.A.P. have signed a Memorandum of Understanding promising to work together to achieve greater efficiencies that will benefit all stakeholders.

Working toward a mutual goal of realising and recognising good aquaculture practice the three organisations are seeking to identify and work together on areas that will accelerate progress or enable greater access.

In the first instance the standard holders will work on harmonisation of feeds standards and explore ways in which audit processes can provide best value.

“This is an important step forward in the development of aquaculture standards,” said Chris Ninnes, CEO of ASC. “Collaborative step change that will enable simpler processes, without losing quality or value in the standard, will make the buying decisions more streamlined and provide greater access, while reducing burdens, on producers.”

“This MOU has taken time and discussion to materialise. That’s because the parties involved recognise the importance and significance of this step in the evolution of seafood standards and aquaculture development,” said Melanie Siggs, who convened the first standard holders’ meeting while working for SeaWeb in 2010. “I’m thrilled to see this step forward that will support all stakeholders from producers, to buyers.”

The seeds of this cooperation were first sown over three years ago, since when informal discussions have continued exploring how such an agreement might work, without compromising each organisation’s unique proposition. The organisations recognise they can more effectively deliver their mutual goal of supporting development of responsible aquaculture by working together.

ASC, GAA and GG have defined the first areas on which they will work together:• Reducing duplication of effort for farms that undertake certification against more than one standard;• Developing common requirements related to feed;• Exploring common approaches to the management of certificate information potentially through shared IT platforms;• Developing common approaches to auditor training;• Developing shared approaches to chain of custody certification; and,• Encouraging accurate and objective messaging regarding the claims made for certified aquaculture products.

The MOU explicitly recognises the continued integrity of each programme.