IFFO, the Marine Ingredients Organisation, launched its Global Standard for Responsible Supply (IFFO RS) back in 2009 and it has now become the most recognized standard for the responsible supply of fishmeal and fish oil with around 40% of world production certified. The multi-stakeholder RS Board appointed to set and administer the standard has now agreed to make a number of changes to improve the standard’s governance and enhance its credibility.
Following consultation with the IFFO Board of Directors it has been agreed to open up the standard to non-IFFO members. Now any fishmeal and fish oil factory wishing to demonstrate its responsible practices will be able to apply for certification to the IFFO RS standard. This should ensure the continued growth of the standard and bring it in line with the recognised best practice for standard setting.
Secondly, the RS Board has agreed to appoint at least one additional Certification Body which can conduct certification of the factories. Currently SAI Global is the only CB with the authority to grant certification to the RS standard, but the intention is to start the process of appointing at least one more CB with similar international reach and credibility. This will provide applicants with a choice of certifiers, which should make the process of becoming certified more efficient and cost effective.
Just as environmental responsibility became a part of international business in the first post-millennium decade, social responsibility is becoming the expectation in the second. To help applicants demonstrate good standards in these areas the RS Board has agreed to add a number of clauses to the IFFO RS factory standard which cover some of the fundamental management issues surrounding good environmental and social practices in fishmeal and fish oil factories. It has been decided to seek consultation on the wording of these new clauses and a proposed draft can be found on the IFFO RS website www.iffo.net/iffo-rs and all comments and suggestions are welcome and should be sent to the secretariat at RS@iffo.net before 30th April.
Commenting on the changes, Andrew Jackson, Chairman of IFFO RS Board said “The IFFO RS standard has got off to an excellent start, but the Board felt that the time had come to widen the ambition of the standard to address the whole global marine ingredients industry. The decision to allow non-IFFO members to apply for the standard, gives the factories processing the over 40% of global production not coming from IFFO members, the opportunity to demonstrate their responsible practices. These practices will now include not only responsible raw material procurement and safe processing, but also some entry level requirements in the areas of factory effluent and emissions as well as employee terms and conditions. These changes should reassure the marine ingredients value-chain that products certified to our standard are being responsibly produced and are increasingly available for their use.”