AUSTRALIA - Skretting helps Tassal in quest for ASC certification
Skretting Australia is assisting its key customer Tassal to fulfil its ambition of becoming one of the world?s first salmon companies to achieve full ASC-certification for all its operations. Through a close working relationship with WWF, Skretting Australia is ensuring that the information provided with its feeds is compliant to the level of detail that the ASC Standard demands
The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) is celebrating a milestone as more than 500 products carrying the ASC logo are now available in the market. Last year at the end of September, five months after the ASC logo became available, there were 92 products. A year on there has been almost a five fold increase.
\"The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification program for responsible aquaculture has made significant progress during 2013. It is Skretting’s belief that the ASC will play an increasingly important role in the future of the aquaculture industry and so it is therefore committed to being able to deliver feeds compliant to the ASC’s strict criteria, starting with its salmon feeds\", said Trygve Berg Lea, International Product Manager for the Skretting Group.
A positive confirmation of this commitment is that Skretting Australia is assisting its key customer Tassal to fulfil its ambition of becoming one of the world’s first salmon companies to achieve full ASC-certification for all its operations. Through a close working relationship with WWF, Skretting Australia is ensuring that the information provided with its feeds is compliant to the level of detail that the ASC Standard demands.
\"This is a significantly positive announcement by Skretting Australia and we are encouraged by this important move in the Asia Pacific region by a large feed company within the aquaculture supply chain. Skretting Australia’s commitment to ASC feed standard requirements will strongly support our aquaculture partner, Tassal’s commitment to be ASC certified\", said Peter Trott, Policy Manager – Fisheries Markets, WWF Australia.
Farm standards for the 12 most globally traded aquaculture species have been developed through a series of eight multi-stakeholder round-tables. This process took more than eight years to complete and to date there have been successful consumer market launches of ASC-certified tilapia (2012) and pangasius (2013).
Considerable attention is now focused on the certification of salmon, and the first salmon products bearing the ASC’s “Farmed Responsibly” logo could start appearing in the market before the end of this year.
Skretting played an active role throughout the “Aquaculture Dialogues” process, which were initiated and coordinated by WWF USA. Alongside WWF, Skretting was a proactive member of the Salmon Aquaculture Dialogue, which ultimately led to the formation of the ASC Standard.
Further support of the standard has since been given by the newly-formed Global Salmon Initiative (GSI), a consortium of companies representing 70 percent of the world’s farmed salmon production, which has chosen ASC as its guiding framework standard.
\"The ASC Standard is the most rigorous and responsible standard that the salmon industry can adhere to, but there is significant work to do before most salmon farms can be certified accordingly. However, there is a major step that proactive producers can take right away, and that is preparing to source feeds that are compliant to the standard\", said Berg Lea.
\"Salmon producers who are keen to go down the ASC route don’t need to look any further than Skretting. Most of the feeds we supply are already compliant with the strict requirements of the ASC Standard with regards to feed traceability and the use of wild fish for feed\", he continued.
In terms of traceability, the standard requires feed manufacturers to make the origins of their raw material ingredients much more transparent. They need to supply the farms with third-party documentation of the ingredients covered under this standard. Nutrace is Skretting’s group-wide food safety and quality system which will be used to verify compliance to the ASC Standard regarding tracking and tracing of raw material origin.
As for the use of wild fish in feeds, also known as the Fishmeal and Fish Oil Forage Fish Dependency Ratio, the standard aims to support the trend towards lower inclusion rates and increasingly efficient use of marine resources. Skretting has developed products based on the MicroBalance technology that enables much lower inclusions rates of marine raw materials in fish feeds without jeopardising production performance. This means the ASC Standard’s strict requirements for lower use of fishmeal, for example, can be met today.
Looking further ahead, Berg Lea expects that as the ASC is established as the salmon industry norm, it will become increasingly challenging for producers to secure sufficient stable supplies of compliant raw materials. This must be a priority topic for discussion and action for all stakeholders, he said.
\"We believe that we can help ease future pressure by working even closer with the ASC and other industry stakeholders to find harmonized feed solutions for all aquaculture species that will be viable for the long-term\".
The first products to use the ASC logo hit the market in late 2012, and since then almost 550 ASC labelled tilapia and pangasius products are available, offering consumers an ever greater choice. The amount and variety of products is expected to rise following the completion of other ASC standards and auditor trainings in the coming months.