Global fishmeal certification program growing


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
October 20, 2010

More than 20 percent of the world’s fishmeal and fish oil production has achieved certification, only a year after the International Fishmeal and Fish Oil Organization launched its Global Standard for Responsible Supply (IFFO-RS), the UK-based organization reported on Wednesday.

The announcement comes as the IFFO gears up for its annual conference in Beijing next week. At the end of September, 47 production facilities in four countries accessing six fisheries were fully certified. Collectively, they represent more than one-fifth of global fishmeal and fish oil production. More production facilities are currently under assessment.

Initially, the RS standard applied only to sourcing whole fish, which make up 75 percent of raw material used for fishmeal and fish oil production. This week, IFFO also announced the extension of the RS standard to cover the remaining 25 percent (byproduct raw material) and that it is piloting a chain-of-custody standard that will enable companies further along the supply chain to apply for IFFO-RS certification.

IFFO Director General Dr. Jonathan Shepherd said wholesalers and retailers are lining up to offer support, including Birds Eye Iglo and Sainsbury’s, both of which are participating in next week’s annual conference.

“The whole supply chain sees credible sourcing credentials as essential to reassure consumers, build sales and brand values, maintain their reputation and to ensure food security,” said Shepherd. “Many retailers and wholesalers have pledged to supply only certified seafood within one to three years and regard the industry’s commitment to the IFFO-RS as a substantial step in the right direction.”

The RS standard is set by a multi-stakeholder technical advisory committee that includes fishmeal producers, fish farmers, seafood processors, retailers and environmental NGOs. Production facilities are audited by an independent International Organization for Standardization 65:1996-accredited certification body.

“The IFFO-RS has already addressed the two critical areas of concern to the value chain — source of raw material and safety in supply,” said Shepherd. “But it remains a work in progress, constantly being developed with the ultimate goal of playing its part in demonstrating a fully sustainable industry — economically, socially and environmentally.”

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