"Since 2007 the farms have been reducing their environmental impacts. There is still more to be done but they are on their way to be ready to enter assessment against the ASC standard," said Mauricio.
"For me the certification of eight shrimp farms means the sustainability of the Mesoamerican reef -- it will be a massive achievement and an example for other countries and industry."
Gaining a competitive edge
"ASC certification will be the seal of approval for us, our focus is on quality and making sure we grow responsibly as a group, at the same time it will provide access to wider markets and help to secure solid relationships with buyers."
A measurable difference
Through ASC certification shrimp farms aim to measurably reduce adverse impacts on the environment and local communities by preserving wetlands and mangroves; addressing the transfer of viruses and reducing disease; bringing cleaner water and ensuring the sustainable use of water; ensuring the responsible use of feed; and addressing biodiversity issues.
The ASC standards were developed through a multi-stakeholder process over many years. As an independent certification programme ASC works with third party Certification Bodies, it is these independent certifiers who carry out the farm assessments and take the certification decision. ASC cannot influence this process.
The ASC standards require farm performance to be measured against both environmental and social requirements. Certification is through an independent third party process and (draft) reports are uploaded to the public ASC website.
The on-pack ASC logo guarantees to consumers that the fish they purchase has been farmed with minimal impacts on the environment and on society.
The ASC standard addresses the following seven principles:
•Legal compliance (obeying the law, the legal right to be there) •Preservation of the natural environment and biodiversity •Preservation of the water resources and water quality •Preservation of the diversity of species and wild populations (for example, minimising escapes that could become a threat to wild fish) •Monitored and responsible use of animal feed and other resources •Animal health (no unnecessary use of antibiotics and chemicals) •Social responsibility (for example, no child labour, health and safety of employees, freedom of assembly, community relations).
For more information about ASC please visit www.asc-aqua.org
About SCS Global Services
SCS Global Services has been providing global leadership in third-party environmental and sustainability certification, auditing, testing, and standards development for three decades. Its programs span a wide cross-section of industries, recognizing achievements in food and agriculture, forestry, green building, product manufacturing, and more. Visit www.scsglobalservices.com to learn more.
Source: SCS Global Services