ASMI builds Global Trust certification program

This month Alaska salmon, certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council for the last decade, will become even more decorated. The state’s booming salmon fisheries are expected to become the state’s first to achieve another endorsement of sustainability via a new program created by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute and Global Trust, an Ireland-based certifier.

ASMI last year paid Global Trust $700,000 to assess Alaska’s five major fisheries — salmon, halibut/black cod, groundfish, pollock and crab — against the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. The price tag includes the first round of certifications, due by 2012 and valid for five years, but not annual surveillance work or re-certification costs.

ASMI’s strategy is to achieve third-party certification of the major fisheries as an endorsement of the state’s fisheries-management regime, backing the sustainability component of the Alaska seafood brand.

“We were looking for a cost-effective way to provide that third-party assurance so that all the users in Alaska, including the little ones as well, would benefit,” says Randy Rice, ASMI’s seafood technical program director.

The ASMI/Global Trust program will not include an eco-label. Companies that apply the MSC logo to a consumer-ready product pay a licensing fee of 0.5 percent of the fish’s wholesale value and includes chain of custody. For Alaska suppliers that want to make a certification claim, there will be a chain-of-custody component available at an additional cost through Global Trust.

Click here to view the rest of the story.  Written by SeaFood Business Contributing Editor Lisa Duchene, the feature appeared in the March issue of SeaFood Business magazine.


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