The Fishin’ Company aims for tilapia BAP accreditation
The Fishin’ Company, a Seattle-based seafood supplier, will seek Best Aquaculture Practices certification for tilapia from the Global Aquaculture Alliance.
The BAP certification standards certify food safety, animal health and welfare, traceability and other environmental and social responsibility benchmarks through the entire supply chain, according to GAA communications director Steven Hedlund. BAP certification is based on independent audits that evaluate compliance with the BAP standards developed by the GAA.
The Fishin’ Company has enrolled 6 tilapia processing plants, 60 farms, 4 hatcheries and 5 feed mills in Hainan and mainland China in the iBAP program, the first step in the BAP certification process, he said. In addition, the company has pledged to give preference in its purchase commitments to facilities that hold BAP certification.
“The marketplace is in the driver’s seat in terms of driving demand for higher standards for aquaculture from major retailers and food service operators,” Hedlund said. “The GAA and BAP rely on partners like The Fishin’ Company, a major tilapia importer into the U.S., to encourage the larger marketplace to pursue rigorous and trustworthy certification of standards for the entire spectrum of its aquaculture facilities.”
Manish Kumar, CEO of The Fishin’ Company, said his firm would pursue four-star BAP ratings – the highest achievable ranking – for all its tilapia production facilities. The Fishin’ Company will work with China Blue and the Hainan Tilapia Sustainability Alliance to encourage the industry to aim for a four-star BAP rating as an industry standard for tilapia, Kumar added.
“We believe our company-sponsored Farmer Training Camps, free educational seminars and classes on how to follow our Code of Good Practices will continue to drive positive change in the Chinese tilapia industry and lead to a steady supply of affordable, sustainable high-quality four-star BAP tilapia that our customers will love,” Kumar said. “Our goal is to help achieve region-wide, zonal certifications that will benefit the overall health of the Chinese aquaculture industry, the environment that supports it, and our partners that are putting the right plans in place to become certified.”
Currently, there are 44 facilities worldwide enrolled in the iBAP introductory program, representing 10 countries (Brazil, Chile, China, Ecuador, Honduras, India, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Thailand), four species (salmon, shrimp, tilapia and trout) as well as aquaculture feed.