Chinese crayfish exporter hopes for competitive edge from BAP certification

Published on
July 3, 2020

A Chinese crayfish producer and processor is leaning on the Best Aquaculture Practices certification it recently secured to give it an edge in a hyper-competitive marketplace at home and abroad.

The Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) recently announced that Deyan Aquatic Products & Food Co. Ltd. had become the world’s first company eligible to offer crayfish with the two-star Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification.

“BAP helps Deyan to emphasize our ambition to[wards] sustainable aquaculture, it also helps us to regulate our management of cultivation and production,” Deyan spokesperson Yu Xia told SeafoodSource.

With production surpassing two million tons in 2019, China’s crayfish sector is one of the fastest-growing segments of the Chinese aquaculture industry. As part of the trend, several of China’s largest crayfish producers recently signed a memorandum of understanding with e-commerce giant Alibaba during a “crayfish branding and innovation summit” in the key production region of Xuyi, in Jiangsu province. Among the speakers at the conference were China Fisheries Association Secretary General Zhao Xing Wu and China Agricultural Scientific Innovation Alliance Director Zhao Jian Wu.

At the conference, Zhao praised government support for the industry’s efforts to increase production and innovation in the sector, with a focus on value-added products to encourage domestic consumption.

Crayfish value-added products have “huge potential” in the Chinese market, Zhao said, with consumer demand strongest in summer.

Chinese firms are increasingly interested in the assurance and marketing benefits that BAP can bring, but the BAP program hasn’t yet made a big impact among the domestic consumer base, according to Deyan’s Wang. However, around 20 percent of the company’s production is destined for export, and those customers are demanding sustainability certification, according to Yu.

“BAP is more important to our overseas customers than to our Chinese customers,” Yu said. “Our [foreign] customers need BAP certification.”

Among Deyan’s export customers is Norfolk, England-based Big Prawn Co., which is commended by Iris (Xin) Wang at the GAA’s China office “for its long-time support on responsible seafood and to make the first two-star [BAP-certified] crayfish possible.”

Yu said more Chinese crayfish producers are on the path to BAP certification.

“The process is a little delayed due to COVID-19, but you can expect more certified crayfish facilities in 2020,” Yu said.

Photo courtesy of Global Aquaculture Association

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