A group of Ecuadorian companies has launched the Sustainable Shrimp Partnership (SSP), a new sustainability initiative with the commitment to grow shrimp with the highest standards including zero antibiotic use and complete traceability.
The launch was held last week in Boston with the purpose of promoting the values of the world industry through the fulfillment of the most stringent quality standards. The initiative is comprised of a global Wildlife Fund (WWF) Advisory Board, the Sustainable Trade Initiative (HDI) and the Aquaculture Stewardshipship Council (ASC) certification.
With this initiative, Ecuador invites shrimp producers to compete in the market with first class products that meet the highest social and environmental standards promoted by SSP.
"Until now, the shrimp sector is considered a commodity market, where the price has often been more important than quality," commented José Antonio Camposano, executive president of the National Chamber of Aquaculture of Ecuador. "But there are consumers who want more options. Those consumers who care about what they eat and how it has been produced, it is time for them to be offered a choice of cultivated shrimp that meets the highest standards. Shrimps grown by producers committed to excellence, for consumers who demand the highest quality. "
For his part, Rodrigo Laniado, founding member of sustainable Shrimp Partnership, said that SSP will differentiate our shrimp. "We learned a few years ago that the environment is the best friend of the shrimp and today we are producing more shrimp and we are becoming more sustainable."
The parameters to be met by companies wishing to be members were presented during the launch of SSP. The product must comply with the ASC certification, should not use antibiotics throughout the production chain, must be completely traceable and with minimal environmental impact (water quality assessment).
SSP also seeks to promote improvements in the global industry through the implementation of several activities that follow its strategy:
- Establish a roundtable on sustainable leadership, with the purpose of influencing the future of shrimp aquaculture. SSP will work collaboratively with interested companies and non-governmental organizations to support and implement industry-wide improvements. It will have the assistance of WWF, HDI and ASC.
- Lead an industry expansion program that will work with small and medium-sized farms to help improve their practices and obtain certifications.
- Educate consumers about the importance of consuming products that have been produced in a sustainable way.
Jason Clay, senior vice president of markets and food at WWF, said that SSP has very ambitious objectives: "achieving ASC and ensuring full traceability will not be an easy task, but is necessary in the current and changing food market and this will have an impact on the whole product sector of the sea."
The SSP companies are Industrial Pesquera Santa Priscila; Omarsa; Corporacion Lanec; Naturisa; Camaronera Rio Nilo; Salmos; Lebama; Agromarina; and Produmar.