The Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) Program’s “Spotlight Stories” highlight BAP-certified facilities around the world and the stories of the people behind them. This Spotlight Story features Aditya Dash of Ram’s Assorted Cold Storage Ltd., a 3-star processing plant in India.
What inspired you to become involved in the seafood industry?
My father started his business career with two trawlers and went on to establish one of the leading seafood export companies in India. After I graduated from George Washington University in Washington D.C., there was a deep need to return home and utilize my acquired knowledge for the development of Odisha and India. I graduated in 2006 and by 2008 I decided that the best way to bring about development in coastal Odisha is through the promotion of sustainable aquaculture.
When was your company established and how many employees are there?
The Suryo Group of Companies was established in 1978. Currently the exports and processing are handled by Ram’s Assorted Cold Storage Ltd. (RACSL). RACSL started exporting from 2008 onward. Currently we have more than 500 employees.
How has the aquaculture industry impacted your life personally?
I live and breathe aquaculture. My wife calls it an unhealthy obsession. Aquaculture is my Ikigai island. It is something that I am good at. It has been rewarding for me financially. It is something that the world needs, and it is something that I love.
How is your company involved in the local community?
We invite the local shrimp-farming community to visit our farm and learn our best practices. Apart from that, we use our lobbying clout for pushing forward the infrastructural needs of the local community such as road and electricity connectivity. In the near future, we hope to organize health camp check-ups and other development-related interventions in the local community such as sanitation and primary education.
When did you attain BAP certification, and why did you choose to do so?
Our farm got certified in 2018, our processing facility got certified in 2016. The main motivation to do so was due to demand from our primary stakeholder, our customers. Our secondary motive was to target potential stakeholders such as impact investment funds for capital who would be impressed by such third-party certifications.
How has BAP certification improved your business?
Internally, we have become more process-oriented in our approach to shrimp farming. Externally, we are seeing a greater demand for our products as a result of this certification.