Congratulations to SouthFresh Aquaculture of Alabama, the first feed mill in the U.S. Southeast and second in the country to attain Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification.
With the addition of its feed mill in Demopolis, Ala., SouthFresh Catfish is now capable of providing three-star BAP U.S. catfish, as its processing plant in Eutaw, Ala., and Elysian Farms in Demopolis, Ala., are already BAP certified.
SouthFresh is one of the few catfish companies in the United States that owns 100 percent of its feed mill. It’s the first U.S. catfish company to earn the distinction of a BAP-certified feed manufacturer.
Last year, SouthFresh enrolled its feed mill in the iBAP program, a precursor to the BAP program that provides technical support for facilities committed to full BAP certification.
“Three-star BAP status has been a goal of ours and also our retail customers,” said Christine Costley, SouthFresh Vice President of Business.
“We make every effort to go the extra mile for our customers,” she continued. “When something is important to them, we listen and act. Our long-term retail customer, Meijer, was both instrumental and supportive in our attaining three-star BAP status. Manufacturing a sustainably produced nutritious catfish feed directly affects our end product and is essential in our overall sustainability plan. Controlling the diet of our catfish is a high priority, and SouthFresh’s proprietary enhanced feed blend has proven to show improvement in the health of the fish and feed efficiency. It is important for us as a company to understand the demands of an evolving market and stay on top of innovative developments in our industry.”
SouthFresh produces a full line of fresh and frozen catfish products for both retail and foodservice, including whole fish, fillets, strips, nuggets, value added and custom products. The feed mill produces catfish feed as well as horse, cattle, swine, deer, game fish and turtle feed. SouthFresh catfish products are distributed in more than 150 cities in the United States, and South Feeds are sold across the U.S. Southeast and exported.
Through the first half of this year, BAP has added 170 new facilities to the third-party certification program, bringing the total number of BAP-certified processing plants, farms, hatcheries and feed mills to 1,674. That total includes 11 BAP-certified catfish processing plants and seven BAP-certified catfish farms, the majority of which are located in the United States; the rest are located in China.
A division of the Global Aquaculture Alliance, Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) is an international certification program based on achievable, science-based and continuously improved 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. BAP certification is based on independent audits that evaluate compliance with the BAP standards developed by the Global Aquaculture Alliance.