The Aquaculture Stewardship Council's new feed mill standard represents a big step for the organization, according to ASC Feed Standard Senior Coordinator Alexandra Warrington.
The standard was published a year and a half ago and became effective in January. Certification bodies are now beginning the accreditation process and will commence audits later this year, Warrington told SeafoodSource at the 2023 Seafood Expo Global in Barcelona, Spain.
“We’re taking all of the same rigor to the ASC assurance, and now applying it down at the feed mill level,” Warrington said.
After nearly eight years of development, the standard has legal, social, and environmental components and provides transparency to the mills’ practices, Warrington said.
“It’s not an easy standard, but it’s addressing those key social and environmental risks and committing to prevent the most serious negative impacts occurring in the supply chain,” Warrington said.
ASC will be investigating all feed ingredients processed by the mills and assessing them against key risk factors common in the marketplace.
“We’ve listened to the industry,” Warrington said. “With this new standard, we offer more flexibility with sourcing certified materials.”
As a part of the new certification, ASC is offering an improvement model for sourcing whole-fish-derived ingredients which reflects the progression of responsibly managed fisheries.
ASC aims to see its first feed mill certified later in 2023.
Photo courtesy of ASC