GlobalGAP expands aquaculture certification


April Forristall, assistant editor

Published on
May 3, 2011

GlobalGAP on Wednesday announced new aquaculture standard developments at the European Seafood Exposition.

The Aquaculture Certification Version 4 was developed in response to more than 500 comments received from stakeholders, including certification bodies, retailers, academia, NGOs, suppliers, fish farmers and seafood producers.

“We needed to integrate our standard much more to make them available to an increasing list of aquaculture species. So we moved to a module that would — rather than a long list of individual species — [be] capable to certify any species,” said Nigel Garbutt, GlobalGAP chairman. “The standard really is highly integrated and avoids duplication and any conflict in different areas of the standard so that the requirements are much easier for products to understand and meet.

“The standard is also integrated through the supply chain right from the certification of the compound feed through the hatcheries, the broodstock and seedlings on to the farm. Then through the chain of custody into processing and with the opportunity to have the GlobalGAP number on the final consumer packaging,” he explained.

Food safety is the main priority of the standard, with key criteria also identified for environmental measures, with animal welfare and workers welfare also given consideration. Compound feed supplied to fish farms is included on the scope coverage and auditing activities.

Garbutt also said the FAO Guidelines on Aquaculture Certification were referenced with the GlobalGAP Aquaculture Certification revision for Version 4 and hopes that can be used as part of its harmonization platform as a benchmark standard for already established schemes to be recognized. GlobalGAP also hopes to make aquaculture certification as efficient an cost effective as possible.

Along the same lines of the goal of harmonization within aquaculture certification, now that the Aquaculture Dialogues have been handed over to the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), Garbutt said producers will have the option to be certified by ASC, GlobalGAP, or both, since the standards are complimentary, and different markets will have different requirements.

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