Shijiazhuang Beiguo Supermarket has pledged to source seafood from Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP)-certified facilities as part of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that the Shijiazhuang-based supermarket chain, known as Beiguo, signed with the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) on May 28.
Beiguo has agreed to begin sourcing BAP seafood and to gradually expand the percentage of BAP seafood that it sources to strengthen its commitment to responsible seafood. BAP is the world’s largest and most comprehensive third-party aquaculture certification program, with standards encompassing environmental responsibility, social accountability, food safety, and animal health and welfare.
“Many retailers around the world are recognizing the importance of responsible sourcing in their seafood supply chains. Beiguo recognizes that it needs to provide assurances to its customers that the seafood products it purchases are produced in a safe and responsible manner. The BAP program offers those assurances, which is why we are seeing the growth in support for BAP throughout Asia,” said GAA VP Steve Hart, who heads up BAP’s market development team in Asia.
Beiguo opened its first store in Shijiazhuang in 2001. Currently, Beiguo has 60 stores in Shijiazhuang, Xingtai, Baoding and other metropolitan areas; its store formats include hypermarkets, premium boutique supermarkets, community fresh food supermarkets and convenience stores.
With the addition of Beiguo, the industry-leading BAP program now has 33 Chinese retail and foodservice companies committed to seafood from BAP-certified processing plants, farms, hatcheries and feed mills.
A division of the Global Aquaculture Alliance, Best Aquaculture Practices is an international certification program based on achievable, science-based and continuously improved performance standards for the entire aquaculture production chain – including processing plants, farms, hatcheries and feed mills. BAP standards cover environmental responsibility, social accountability, food safety and animal welfare. The BAP program is based on independent audits that evaluate compliance with the BAP standards developed by GAA.