Fast-growing Chinese seafood restaurant chain Bantianyao signs onto BAP

Published on
April 28, 2020

A fast-growing Chinese seafood restaurant chain has pledged to sign on to Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) criteria in sourcing pangasius and other seafood for its outlets.

The Bantianyao chain has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA), which operates the BAP certification program.

The emergence of youth-focused casual dining chains like Baitianyao has been a major driver of China’s imports of pangasius, which have soared in recent years. As part of the MoU, Bantianyao has pledged to add BAP seafood to its preferential procurement list. All of the pangasius used by the restaurant chain will now originate from BAP-certified processing plants and farms.

Founded in 2018, Bantianyao now operates more than 200 restaurants across China. The chain is managed by Ban Tian Yao Catering Management Co. based in Jinan, the capital of Shandong province. Its signature dish, roast fish with green peppers, has drawn a cult following – so much so that the company issued a statement in March warning about rampant “fake” restaurants bearing its name.

In its early days, Bantianyao bought live fish from local wholesale markets, but its need for larger volumes to feed its quick growth forced it to shift to purchasing from leading pangasius firms. With the MoU, Bantianyao now requires that processing plants source from farms that have obtained at least BAP two-star certification.

BAP certification can aid restaurant owners like Bantianyao by guaranteeing “supply chains are adhering to strict standards,” according to GAA Vice President Asia Market Development Steve Hart.

“The first half of 2020 has been incredibly challenging for the entire food supply chain, especially restaurants,” Hart said. “It is times like these that make the importance of responsible seafood sourcing policies even more important, as leading business owners are wanting assurances that their supply chains are adhering to strict standards. It is this commitment by Bantianyao that has brought them success in the Chinese market and makes us very excited to be working with them.”

Through March, there were 2,344 processing plants, farms, hatcheries, and feed mills worldwide certified by BAP, which scrutinises companies’ environmental responsibility, social accountability, food safety, and animal health and welfare. The BAP program is based on independent audits that evaluate compliance with the BAP standards developed by GAA.

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