GAA looks to make Chinese farmed seafood safer with new partnerships
The Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) made strides in China this week when it signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Certification and Accreditation Administration of the People’s Republic of China (CNCA), China Entry Exit Inspection and Quarantine Association (CIQA) and Seafood HACCP Alliance (SHA) during the 2016 GOAL Conference, held this year in the city of Guangzhou.
By signing the memorandum, the four organizations have all agreed to work on the establishment of the International Aquaculture Products Quality Safety and Certification Partnership Program, which is meant to inspire trust in aquaculture products that require less regulatory attention while also instilling confidence in buyers and driving “aquaculture operations to meet major seafood markets’ food safety requirements,” explained GAA.
“The safety of our food has become a growing concern around the world, which has led to laws like the Food Safety Modernization Act being passed in the United States. I am excited for this partnership with CNCA, CIQA and SHA as it will focus not only on improving food safety practices of aquaculture products in China, but also around the world through our Best Aquaculture Practices Certification program,” said GAA Vice President of Education and Outreach Steven Hart during the GOAL Conference on 20 September.
The three Chinese organizations expressed an eagerness to work with GAA to help boost the impact and utilization of the BAP program in China, and to help align Chinese aquaculture producers with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
“The ultimate goal of this program is to facilitate international seafood trade and help seafood producers from China and abroad to meet with the markets’ requirements and consumers’ needs around the world,” GAA said in a news release.
In particular, CNCA and GAA will work closely together when comparing and contrasting Chinese certification programs, China HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) and China GAP (Good Agricultural Practices), and the Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification system. Through this process, the two organizations will focus on identifying the complementary aspects of the systems as well as how they can improve system cohesiveness to promote this new, voluntary program in international trade.
Meanwhile, CIQA, SHA and GAA will work closely with one another to develop and deliver food safety courses to aquaculture companies across China.
“The agreement to include food safety education as part of this program is an essential part for the success of this historical partnership because the training provided will be designed to meet or exceed food safety requirements for international seafood trade,” said Steve Otwell, director for the Seafood HACCP Alliance, on the educational piece.
Training will focus on enhancing the quality of food safety controls established by this new partnership to help facilities meet regulatory and market requirements, both in China and internationally, said GAA.