The Global Aquaculture Alliance has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Hema Fresh whereby the Chinese supermarket chain has incorporated GAA’s Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) into its sustainable seafood sourcing policy for its private label brand, Difresco.
Hema Fresh, which is owned by Alibaba, has committed to sourcing BAP shrimp and pangasius and promoting the third-party certification program across its online and offline channels. Hema Fresh operates 160 brick-and-mortar stores throughout China and is part of the emerging “new retail” trend converging online and offline grocery shopping whereby groceries are delivered to customers’ homes or customers dine at one of Hema Fresh’s in-store restaurants. Hema Fresh already has 1 million members.
GAA and Hema Fresh marked the MoU signing with a ceremony in Chengdu on June 28.
“Hema is committed to providing high quality seafood products to its customers with its private brand Difresco,” said Dr. Steve Hart, GAA’s VP and head of the BAP market development team in Asia. “When developing a high-quality private brand, international leaders like Hema look to organizations like the GAA and our BAP certification program to provide them the assurances they are looking for in their supply chains.”
“In the future, Hema will continue to work with GAA to release more Difresco BAP-certified seafood into Hema’s 160-plus stores throughout China. BAP certification and its blue logo on Difresco’s packages testify for Hema’s commitment to providing sustainable seafood with assurances to Chinese consumers and educating them on the importance of choosing sustainable seafood,” added April Huang, Hema’s Difresco sourcing manger.
Administered by GAA, BAP is the world’s most comprehensive third-party aquaculture certification program, with standards encompassing environmental responsibility, social responsibility, food safety, animal health and welfare, and traceability. The BAP program covers the entire aquaculture production chain — processing plants, hatcheries, farms and feed mills. Additionally, the program is compliant with the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), Global Social Compliance Programme (GSCP) and Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative GSSI.
Through the end of May, there were 2,414 BAP-certified farms, processing plants, hatcheries and feed mills worldwide, including 796 shrimp farms and 11 pangasius farms.
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 developed by the Global Aquaculture Alliance.