MarinTrust certification for fishmeal lacking Chinese participants

Published on
May 20, 2020

The MarinTrust standard for sustainable production of fishmeal and fish oil is gaining ground globally, but has not yet made inroads into China.

Known as IFFO RS until a name change earlier this year, the certification was founded in 2009 as a means by which marine ingredient producers could demonstrate their raw materials are sourced and produced responsibly. MarinTrust describes itself as the leading independent business-to-business certification program for the marine ingredient value chain. It certifies individual fishmeal or fish oil plants and not any company in its entirety

While there are 150 plants in 20 countries now certified to MarinTrust standards, no fishmeal plant in China has yet been certified, even though the country is the world’s biggest user of fishmeal and fish oil.

“So far, we have not received any application from Chinese producers,” MarinTrust CEO Francisco Aldon told SeafoodSource. “They can apply for certification or, if required, take more time to improve their production environment by joining the MarinTrust Improver Program.”

The MarinTrust Improver Program was developed with the aim of encouraging factories not yet meeting the criteria for the standard, according to Aldon. Firms enrolled in the Improver Program have a “structured improvement journey mapped out with agreed milestones and a timeframe that must be met in order to become certified against the MarinTrust standard,” Aldon said.

Five Chinese companies have obtained the MarinTrust chain of custody certification for imported certified fishmeal and fish oil. These include Zhoushan Sinomega Biotech Engineering Co. and Damao Fish Oil Co. The chain of custody “ensures the traceability and integrity of these products and also prevents counterfeiting and substandard behavior,” according to MarinTrust.

MarinTrust “works with a wide range of stakeholders operating in China to gain a better knowledge of Chinese users’ expectations and to connect with the value chain,” Aldon said. “China has strict requirements when it comes to safety and traceability of domestic and imported fishmeal. The country is expected to continue to import vast quantities of marine ingredients and consumers need reassurance on their sourcing.”

Together with IFFO – the trade body representing the fishmeal and fish oil industry worldwide – MarinTrust is planning to host a seminar in China in December 2020 for local fishmeal and feed companies.

“We’ll see if we can confirm it in the near future and we will definitely continue to engage with Chinese stakeholders through events and collaborative works,” Aldon said.

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