GLOBALG.A.P Aquaculture Certification: Responsible Sourcing of Farmed Products

March 11, 2011 10:48

Responsible sourcing of farmed products: GLOBALG.A.P Certification of aquacultured fish, crustaceans and molluscs

A New Cycle

GLOBALG.A.P is proud to present a new cycle of aquaculture certification starting in January 2011, reports www.megafishnet.com with reference to Global G.A.P.

As a result of round tables on four continents as well as three public consultations, the scope of the GLOBALG.A.P Aquaculture Standard has been expanded in the new Version 4 to include any hatchery-based farmed species that can be produced under controlled aquatic systems, including the consideration of passive collection of seedlings in the planktonic phase. This new version reflects a compact and more comprehensive standard for users, stepping into a stricter level of compliance in key activities identified throughout the past years of farm certification experience. From the launch of the previous version in 2007 until the third quarter of 2010, 500 comments were received from stakeholders representing 116 organizations worldwide that comprise certification bodies, retailers, research centers, universities, NGOs, suppliers, farmers, GLOBALG.A.P National Technical Working Groups for Aquaculture, producer organizations, scheme owners, consultants, the food service industry, the animal health industry, and metrology institutes.

GLOBALG.A.P firmly believes in local multi-stakeholder support and adaptation: the "Think Global, Act Local" principle. To implement this principle, the National Technical Working Groups (NTWG), specific for GLOBALG.A.P scopes e.g. Crops, Livestock or Aquaculture, have been established around the globe, whose role is to develop national interpretation guidelines and address identified specific local adaptation and implementation challenges.


The Compound Feed Manufacturing Standard (CFM)

In March 2010 GLOBALG.A.P launched the CFM Standard Version 2.0 for certification purposes to define the guidelines for the use of compound feed at the aquaculture farms and hatcheries. In the case that compound feed contains fishmeal and/or fish oil, the species of fish used and its respective country of origin must be identified. The compound feed must also demonstrate proof that it does not contain species classified as critically endangered or endangered on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

Positive Impact

The credibility of the GLOBALG.A.P Aquaculture Standard stems from its development process, which relies on stakeholder input through transparent and inclusive standard setting procedures. GLOBALG.A.P works with accredited third-party certification bodies operating worldwide to offer the best platform of aquaculture professionals. Moreover, through its Integrity Program, GLOBALG.A.P provides a key reliability aspect by conducting surveillance spot checks to evaluate the performance of both aquaculture operations (farms and hatcheries) and certification bodies. GLOBALG.A.P also offers product buyers a database that provides an additional measure of transparency and control.

GLOBALG.A.P Aquaculture has been implemented in 15 countries worldwide for Version 3, covering Salmonids, Shrimp, Tilapia and Pangasius species. For Version 4, the species coverage has been expanded and the GLOBALG.A.P platform of certification bodies is ready to attend to any farm wherever its location in order to support responsible sourcing needs. This Version 4 reflects continuous improvement built on the valuable feedback gained from producer and consumer requirements. GLOBALG.A.P will continue operating in a modular approach at farm level and GLOBALG.A.P Chain of Custody certification will continue to be available to maintain product certified status throughout the production value chain. This important certification defines the requirements for hygiene and proper segregation of certified and non-certified products for the processing operation unit and subsequent steps if needed. Through the GLOBALG.A.P Number identification (GGN), certificates can reflect the origin of the farmed product as well as the processing, packing, warehouse, or any stage of the food production chain when purchasers require proper identification of GLOBALG.A.P certified source.

An Effective and Robust Modular Approach

Because of our effective and robust modular approach the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the world's largest multinational conservation organization, is working with GLOBALG.A.P to provide training to auditors for the aquaculture standards developed by the WWF-initiated Aquaculture Dialogues (AD). Also, as part of the WWF/GLOBALG.A.P partnership, GLOBALG.A.P's accredited certification bodies will be trained by GLOBALG.A.P to audit farms that adopt the AD standards. The AD Standards will be added on, in their entirety, to the GLOBALG.A.P Standards.

Jose R. Villalon, Managing Director of the WWF-US Aquaculture Program said: "We look forward to the first tilapia producers in Latin America and SE Asia in the coming months to become compliant to the Tilapia Aquaculture Dialogue standards through our interim partnership with GLOBALG.A.P and the joint audit arrangements."

In addition, GLOBALG.A.P certified products automatically undergo Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) as an integral part of the certification process. This ensures that aquaculture farms not only make animal welfare considerations, but that they are also expected to assess the impact of their farming practices on their immediate environment, thereby encouraging environmental awareness.

Join the Most Widely Accepted Good Agricultural Practice Standard Worldwide

Engage in the markets by partnering with GLOBALG.A.P. We encourage you to get to know us better and look forward to working with you during this exciting new cycle open to any hatchery-based species, including the consideration of passive collection of seedlings in the planktonic phase.

GLOBALG.A.P (www.globalgap.org) is a private sector body that sets voluntary standards for the certification of production processes of aquaculture and agricultural products anywhere in the world. A rise in health and environmental awareness has led consumers worldwide to voice their concerns, demanding products that are responsibly farmed under ecologically sound and controlled conditions. Aquaculture is the fastest growing food-producing sector in the world, making these consumer concerns a top priority, and in their efforts to respond to these demands, producers and retailers are increasingly relying on standards that provide reliability, credibility, transparency and, more importantly, promote an environment of trust in their markets.

The GLOBALG.A.P set of standards serves as a practical manual for Good Agricultural Practice (G.A.P.) and is designed to assure consumers by ensuring food safety, minimizing environmental impacts of farming operations, providing guidelines for animal welfare, and maintaining a responsible approach to worker health and safety.

The GLOBALG.A.P Aquaculture Standard is a Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) recognized pre-farm gate standard. Together with the GLOBALG.A.P platform it offers the industry the best tool on the market to rely on as a business-to-business certification system, covering the entire production chain ranging from the broodstock, seedlings and feed suppliers, to the farming, harvesting and processing stages.

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