Cooke Aquaculture is the world’s first salmon producer to earn Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification under the new two-year BAP group audit, which is designed specifically for salmon producers.
In total, 19 salmon farm sites in Maine, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland attained BAP certification. This is largest BAP group audit for salmon farms to date.
Cooke Aquaculture has embraced the BAP third-party certification program, and today the New Brunswick-based company is qualified to offer four-star BAP salmon, signifying that a product originates from BAP-certified processing plants, farms, hatcheries and feed mills, BAP’s highest designation.
Cooke Aquaculture — North America’s largest vertically integrated, independent salmon-farming company — had a pre-existing system of internal audits that allowed the company to prepare for the BAP group audit quickly, showing a strong commitment to administration of the BAP salmon standards across its operations.
The BAP group audit allows for fewer third-party audits while reducing costs and maintaining program integrity. These farms comply with the same BAP farm standards, but only companies with sophisticated, well-established quality management systems are able to comply with the BAP group audit.
What’s different about the BAP group audit for salmon is that it’s a two-year certification period, with a one-year interim audit at the midpoint. Currently, this two-year certification period is unique to salmon producers, which have a longer crop cycle than many farmed seafood species. It’s a result of the BAP team working to find solutions to industry-specific challenges while maintaining program integrity.
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 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 owned by the Global Aquaculture Alliance.
About Cooke Aquaculture
Cooke Aquaculture was established in 1985 by the Cooke family with one farm and 5,000 salmon. Recognizing that integration and diversification was key to global competitiveness, the family launched an aggressive growth strategy. Today, Cooke Aquaculture is a vertically integrated corporation headquartered in Blacks Harbour NB with aquaculture operations in Atlantic Canada, the United States (Maine and Washington), Chile, Spain and Scotland. Since 2015, the Cooke family established Cooke Seafood USA and purchased the Wanchese Fish Company and acquired Icicle Seafoods, Inc. based in Seattle WA adding additional groundfish and salmon fisheries to its portfolio. The Cooke family of companies now employ more than 5000 people worldwide and sell a broad spectrum of wild and farmed seafood products to discerning customers in the food service and retail sector around the world. The Cooke group of companies will produce over 275,000 metric tonnes of seafood annually and is expected to generate $1.8 Billion in annual sales in 2016.