In the wake of major merger, Nireus earns “Fish from Greece” certification
Seafood products sold by Mediterranean supplier Nireus Aquaculture S.A. can bear the “Fish from Greece” tag now that the firm has achieved certification under the Hellenic Aquaculture Producers Organization (HAPO)-owned standard.
Sea bream, sea bass, meager, and pagrus offerings from Nireus can showcase the “Fish from Greece” label moving forward, according to HAPO – a privately-owned non-profit representing approximately 80 to 90 percent of Greece’s aquaculture industry. A HAPO member, Nireus was approved by auditing body TUV Austria Hellas for the certification, which guarantees levels of freshness and high omega-3 fatty acids content.
A private standard, the Fish from Greece certification requires seafood producers to be compliant with six main pillars to earn its stamp of approval: fish health; farming environment and fish stock management; fish welfare; quality characteristics of the farmed fish; food safety; and social responsibility in aquaculture. To maintain the certification, Nireus will have to undergo annual supervisory audits as well as unannounced inspections conducted by independent assessors, HAPO said.
The new certification comes on the heels of Nireus merging with Andromeda Seafood Group and Selonda SA last month. The merger – which brings three of the largest Greek sea bass and bream players together – was finalized as of 27 November after the European Commission approved Diorasis International's more than EUR 50 million (USD 55.4 million) bid to purchase a number of sea bass and sea bream farm assets from the group of Mediterranean suppliers. The sale of the cluster of Selonda and Nireus farm sites to Diorasis-owned Bitsakos Aquaculture and Kefalonia Fisheries was requested by the European Commission earlier in 2019 in order for it to greenlight the acquisition, which was carried out by U.S.-based company AMERRA Capital Management LLC and Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company.
Certification resonates beyond just Nireus within the newly-formed enterprise – in early November, Andromeda Seafood announced it had obtained Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification for its Corvina REX, produced by its Spanish division. Andromeda Ibérica is the first Spanish corvina producer to obtain the standard.
Photo courtesy of the Hellenic Aquaculture Producers Organization (HAPO)