GlobalGAP Shrimp Standards Launched
GlobalGAP introduced farmed shrimp certification standards during a press conference at the Holiday Inn Court Garden, next to the Brussels Exhibition Grounds, yesterday.
Founded by the Euro-Retailer Produce Working Group (EUREP) in 1997, the private GlobalGAP (Good Aquaculture Practices) establishes voluntary certification standards for agricultural and aquaculture products worldwide. About 100,000 farms in 80 countries participate in the program, certified by more than 100 accredited third-party certifiers.
GlobalGAP is a business-to-business label and is therefore not visible to consumers.
"We feel we have a responsibility to create standards that address food safety and the environmental and social issues" associated with aquaculture, said Aldin Hilbrands, senior manager of product safety and integrity for the Dutch retail giant Royal Ahold, which operates about 3,400 stores throughout Europe and the United States.
Royal Ahold helped develop the shrimp standards, and the first certified shrimp will reach the retailer's shelves "relatively quickly," said Hilbrands, who also serves as chairman of GlobalGAP's aquaculture committee.
In development for two years, the shrimp standards have been tested at six farms in three Asian and Latin American countries by GlobalGAP auditors, said Mark Nijhof of Dutch shrimp supplier Heiploeg (hall 5, stand 513). Nijhof, who also serves as chairman of GlobalGAP's shrimp working group, is confident the shrimp standards will work at both large and small farms.
GlobalGAP introduced farmed Atlantic salmon certification standards in 2004 and is working on standards for tilapia and pangasius. The Cologne, Germany-based organization will begin developing standards for sea bass and sea bream later this year.
Numerous retailers and foodservice operators worldwide sell GlobalGAP-certified products, including ASDA, Co-op Group, Delhaize, McDonald's, Metro Group, Tesco, Waitrose and Wegmans.
Steven Hedlund, reporting from the European Seafood Exposition