First for Thailand: Shrimp farm earns ASC certification
Thailand’s Best Aquaculture Partners has become the first shrimp farm in the country to earn certification from the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), a reflection of the operation’s commitment to sustainability and indicative of its eye toward a global demand for responsibly produced seafood.
The certification is not only an accomplishment for the Seawealth Frozen Foods Company’s (owned by the Wales Group Company) farm – which worked with the World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) Market Transformation Initiative (MTI) and the Aquaculture Improvement Project (AIP) in its quest to acquire the ASC ticket – but also Thailand at large, said Suriya Ratipattarawong, Senior Aquaculture Officer at WWF-Thailand.
“BAP’s Aquaculture Stewardship Council certification is a first for Thailand and a huge step forward for responsible aquaculture in Thailand,” said Ratipattarawong in a news release. “By taking the lead in reducing their environmental and social impacts, they are showing that the private sector has an important role to play in sustainability.”
WWF helped Best Aquaculture Partners in analyzing the gaps between its operations and the ASC’s standards, and then worked with the farm to establish and implement a course of action to eliminate any disparities. Third-party auditors were then brought in to evaluate the farm’s efforts in “minimizing its impact on environment by using resources efficiently, cutting out chemicals and antibiotics, and conserving biodiversity and important natural ecosystems,” according to WWF. Labor practices were also scrutinized by the auditors, as well as the farm’s responsiveness to local communities.
“ASC certification helps us to maintain our customers who are demanding for sustainable practices of our shrimp farms. This is the new trend from all part of the world including USA, Europe and Australia. We foresee more and more requirement of this ASC certification in the coming near future. Not only we can keep our customers happy, we expect with new learning and maintaining up to ASC standard, our farms will be beneficial to ourselves and the community as well as surrounding environment of our farms. We hope to be the leader in Thailand for all these perspective,” said Poj aramwattananont, president of Wales Group Company.
Best Aquaculture Partner’s “certification is the first step toward more responsible, sustainable aquaculture in Thailand that meets international standards and provides access to international markets,” said WWF.
Best Aquaculture Partners is located in Surat Thani, Thailand, and produces an average of 200 metric tons of shrimp per year.
“By proactively moving toward international certification through ASC, Thai aquaculture producers can invest in the future of their business and the environment,” Ratipattarawong said. “WWF stands ready to work with any Thai companies who want to achieve a sustainable and profitable future.”