The Global Aquaculture Alliance’s (GAA) Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) seafood processing plant standards have been successfully benchmarked against the latest Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) food safety requirements. GFSI made the announcement on May 16.
The BAP standards now align with GFSI Guidance Document Sixth Edition, which according to GFSI represents an upgrade from the previous edition in that the requirements for program management were strengthened and the document was expanded to cover primary production, processing and supporting activities more robustly.
The BAP seafood processing plant standards were originally benchmarked against GFSI Guidance Document Fifth Edition in June 2010.
“Being successfully re-benchmarked by GFSI is a testament that BAP-certified facilities meet the highest standards for food safety. BAP-certified facilities will be able to continue to meet the demands of seafood retailers and distributors requiring GFSI,” said GAA Executive Director Wally Stevens. “This rigorous process addresses not only food safety and the content of the standards, but also scheme governance.”
GFSI documents provide an internationally recognized benchmark against which any food-assurance standard can be measured. Representing a collaboration of leading experts from retail, foodservice and manufacturing companies, GFSI pursues continuous improvement in food-safety management and cost efficiency in the supply chain.
Once reviewed by the GFSI benchmark committee, the application was released to more than 9,000 GFSI stakeholders for a one-month global consultation, which speaks to the transparent approach to benchmarking that is embedded in the GFSI Guidance Document Sixth Edition.
“One of the key components of the GFSI board’s strategy is building confidence in third party certification. We are committed to providing trust in the systems that are responsible for ensuring safe food for consumers everywhere,” said Frank Yiannas, vice president of food safety for Walmart and vice-chair of the GFSI board, in the GFSI press release. “By recognizing food-safety management schemes that meet fundamental requirements set by a global group of stakeholders, the GFSI benchmarking process plays a key role in providing integrity in the third party certification process.”
Best Aquaculture Practices is an international certification program based on achievable, science-based and continuously improved global performance standards for the entire aquaculture supply chain—farms, hatcheries, processing plants and feed mills—that assure healthful foods produced through environmentally and socially responsible means. For more information on BAP, visit http://bap.gaalliance.org/.