East Coast Seafood gets BAP Chain of Custody certification for three facilities
Three facilities owned by New Bedford, Massachusetts, U.S.A.-based East Coast Seafood have become the first to be certified to the new Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) Chain of Custody (CoC) Standard.
East Coast Seafood’s Seatrade facility in New Bedford and its processing plant in Lakeville, Massachusetts have both received certification, in addition to its Maine Fair Trade facility in Prospect Harbor, Maine, which it entered into an agreement to sell to American Aquafarms last week.
“BAP is very well-recognized and respected by most major food retailers and distributors across the United States and Canada, and this certification puts East Coast Seafood in an exclusive club of North American companies that can re-pack BAP products for our customers,” East Coast Seafood Senior Vice President Bob Blais said in a press release. “We thank Global Aquacultural Alliance for working with East Coast Seafood to develop this program.”
A division of Global Aquaculture Alliance, Best Aquaculture Practices is an international certification program based on performance standards for the entire aquaculture production chain. BAP standards cover environmental responsibility, social accountability, food safety, and animal welfare. The BAP program is based on independent audits that evaluate compliance with the BAP standards developed by GAA.
The BAP CoC Standard was created to support BAP market endorsers along with BAP supply and production chains to allow for the repacking and relabeling of BAP-certified products, while assuring BAP logo use integrity, according to the certifier. This standard will allow for increased BAP presence in the market by offering a certification option for cold storage, third party repacking and relabeling facilities and distribution partners in BAP seafood supply chains, it said.
“The new BAP Chain of Custody Standard is still in pilot phase and has not yet begun its accreditation or benchmarking process,” BAP Senior Vice President of Operations and Strategic Development Greg Brown said. “We are also finishing the development of alternative criteria for the food safety, social accountability, and environment responsibility prerequisites. So it is GAA’s hope to finalize the CoC Standard by the end of this year.”
The new standard allows facilities that re-pack or re-label farm-raised seafood products from BAP-certified processors or re-processors to maintain traceability and ensure integrity of the BAP star status. A CoC facility may carry forward the BAP logo from a BAP-certified processor or re-processor, the group said.
“We are so pleased to have East Coast Seafood successfully certify their three facilities to the BAP Chain of Custody Standard. This standard is an option for those facilities that meet the BAP CoC requirements and simply relabel or repack BAP certified products,” BAP Market Development Manager Denise Gurshin said. “East Coast Seafood was an excellent partner to pilot the Chain of Custody.”
Photo courtesy of East Coast Seafood