Forty percent of fishmeal and oil production is IFFO RS certified –

Forty percent of fishmeal and oil production is IFFO RS certified Published:  18 June, 2013

“Overall 103 plants in 10 countries are now IFFO RS certified, amounting to 40% of world combined fishmeal and fish oil production and 70% of that produced by IFFO members,” says Francisco Aldon Head of Standards at IFFO.

“More factories are in the process of certification,” he adds, “and sixteen fisheries have been approved as sources of responsible raw materials under the RS standard.”

Progress of the IFFO RS standard is under constant review and development by the IFFO RS Board, made up of representatives of the value chain, such as fishmeal and oil producers, feed producers, fish farmers, traders, fish processors, retailers and Environmental NGO’s. At a recent meeting the board discussed improvements to the governance of the RS standard which is critical to its continuing credibility. The potential addition of social and ethical clauses to the standard as well as pollution clauses to reassure the value chain was considered and another key topic was the IFFO RS Improvers Programme (IP). This is progressing with the support of Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) and FAO. The IP’s main objective is to help improve fishmeal and fish oil producers that are currently unable to meet the standard, either because of issues within the factory or because of problems with the raw material and the associated fisheries.

In order to keep up with the progress of the industry, ensure full traceability and strengthen the RS standard, the auditing process has been extended to include the head offices of companies that own multiple sites where some are RS certified and some not, and third party storage facilities. These stores need checks to ensure the IFFO RS certified material is kept separate from non-certified fishmeal and/or fish oil.

The by-products (guts, trimmings, heads and tails) of 52 species usually destined for human consumption have also been approved as raw material for fishmeal and fish oil under the RS standard. Thirteen units (storage facilities, fish oil refineries, head offices) have achieved the IFFO RS Chain of Custody (CoC) Standard .

Both the RS Standard and the RS CoC Standard have new logos and there are plans to develop a QR code for each of the certified units in order to give the buyer a means of verifying certification independently.

The IFFO RS programme is also contributing information to ‘standard maps’ by organisations such as Seafish Network which compare and contrast the different seafood standards on the market. For IFFO RS standard these maps are a good way to demonstrate transparency and to ensure as many fish products buyers and consumers as possible see that IFFO members are working in a responsible way.

Mike Copeland, International Business and Technical Director of Oceana Brands, South Africa, has first-hand evidence of the benefits of RS certification to the fisheries in today’s world where retailers and consumers are increasingly engaged in the provenance of their food and the inputs used in its production.

He said: “We were delighted when our factories received IFFO RS certification as this demonstrates to our customers that Oceana Brands responsibly sources its raw material and has well managed factories ensuring pure and safe product.”