MARINE Harvest Canada has successfully completed a pilot of the Best Aquaculture Practices’ (BAP) new group farm programme, resulting in 11 of its salmon farm sites attaining BAP certification.
Located along the British Columbia coastline, the farm sites are the first set to earn BAP certification under the group farm programme, the Global Aquaculture Alliance announced yesterday.
The BAP group farm approach allows for a reduced number of site audits; a subset of the total number of sites is audited. The sites receive one BAP certificate.
The ability to qualify for group certification and to have a subset of farms audited requires an applicant to implement strict and consistent internal controls across all of its operations, including a procedure to remove non-compliant sites.
The commitment required to ensure compliance under the group farm programme acts as a driver for continuous improvement.
‘In order to meet the group certification, BAP and our third-party auditors need to be confident that Marine Harvest farms are consistently operating at a level that exceeds standard requirements,’ said Marine Harvest Canada certification manager Katherine Dolmage.
‘It’s a huge honour to be selected to undertake this pilot, as it shows that BAP has recognised the level of performance and commitment to the standards at all Marine Harvest farm sites.’
BAP vice-president Lisa Goche said: ‘A key element to ensuring the integrity and auditability of new programmes such as this is the ability to ‘pilot’ test them in the field.
‘BAP is grateful to Marine Harvest Canada, which graciously volunteered to participate in a group pilot against the BAP salmon farm standards.
‘Its cooperation has really helped us to fine tune and improve the programme.
‘BAP also thanks SAI Global, the certification body that likewise agreed to assist us in this endeavour and whose support during both the programme review process and the piloting were invaluable.’