Public consultation for the new ASC Responsible Feed Standard is now open. The Standard aims to provide a means to significantly reduce the environmental and social impacts created by the production of ingredients used for aquaculture feed, and to provide an incentive and workable goals for ingredient producers who want to improve their production processes.
Interest in the responsible use of aquafeeds is broader than managing the impacts of feed use in the farming system alone (e.g. controlling pollution from excessive use) and extends to questions about the environmental and social impact created by the systems used to produce the various ingredients.
The dominant categories of feed ingredients used in formulated feeds are plant derived products (eg soy, wheat, rice, corn), fishmeal and oil, and meat by-products. In addition to these main ingredient categories, smaller quantities of additives such as additional nutrients, pharmaceuticals and probiotics may be included.
Raw material production creates both environmental and social impacts and issues, at both the producing and processing ends of the supply chain, including habitat loss, overharvesting, loss of threatened species, pollution, and exploitation of workers amongst others. The purpose of the ASC Responsible Feed Standard is to help reduce these impacts and issues significantly.
The ASC Standard will eventually replace the feed ingredient requirements within individual, species-specific ASC Farm Standards, and certified farms will eventually need to use ASC certified feed in order to be certifiable.
The consultation is open from Tuesday 30 June to Friday 11 September and full details can be found here.