GAA seeks SSCI recognition for BAP program

The Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) has announced it has submitted an application for The Consumer Goods Forum’s (CGF) Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative (SSCI) benchmark for its Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification program.

The benchmark application is the first step in achieving SSCI recognition for meeting “industry expectations for third-party social compliance programs,” according to a press release from GAA. The application makes BAP the first certification program to apply, according to GAA.

“GAA has embraced benchmarking exercises such as the Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative since their inception. They help level the playing field for seafood sustainability claims,” GAA CEO Wally Stevens said. “Social responsibility has long been a pillar of the industry-leading BAP third-party certification program, along with environmental responsibility, food safety, and animal health and welfare. We look forward to the outcome of the SSCI evaluation process.”

The SSCI was launched in 2017 in order to build trust in sustainable standards world-wide. The SSCI standard benchmarks third-party auditing schemes and programs covering sustainability requirements, in order to recognize programs that “meet industry expectations on social sustainability,” according to SSCI.

The overarching goals of the program, according to the CGF is to support companies in supply chain diligence by “recognizing robust schemes that drive positive change and address sustainability compliance issues,” increase efficiency in supply chains by “reducing audit duplication through recognition of robust sustainability schemes,” and finally by contributing “to continuous improvement of sustainability auditing and certification schemes.”

The new certification won’t be an entirely new goal to reach for GAA, as the SSCI was created to replace the CGF’s Global Social Compliance Program, partially mimicking CGF’s already established Global Food Safety Initiative – a standard that the GAA Seafood Processing Standard was already benchmarked against.

“At the SSCI, we welcome this positive step from the GAA and look forward to reviewing its alignment towards industry values on transparency, social responsibility and sustainability,” SSCI wrote of the announcement.

If GAA achieves the certification, it will add to the growing list of accolades for BAP: In December 2017 it completed the Global Social Compliance Program Equivalence Process, the first aquaculture certification to do so; and in October 2017 BAP became the first aquaculture certification program to be recognized by the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative.

The evaluation for the SSCI program is expected to take 6 to 12 months, according to GAA. 

Photo courtesy of the Global Aquaculture Alliance


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