In an effort to grow the availability of four-star Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) tilapia, the Global Aquaculture Alliance has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with The Fishin’ Company in which the U.S.-based supplier will encourage all of its tilapia processing plants, farms, hatcheries and feed mills to enroll in the iBAP program and, ultimately, attain BAP certification.
The Fishin’ Company committed to providing the education and support necessary to enroll six processing plants, 60 farms, four hatcheries and five feed mills in Hainan and mainland China in the iBAP program. The supplier also pledged to provide commercial support, through purchase commitments, for facilities that earn and retain BAP certification. Working with local organizations like China Blue and Hainan Tilapia Sustainability Alliance, The Fishin’ Company will raise awareness of the benefits of the BAP third-party certification program to the local farming community.
The company’s ultimate goal is for four-star BAP tilapia to become the industry standard. Four stars denotes that a product originates from a BAP-certified processing plant, farm, hatchery and feed mill. It’s the highest designation in the BAP program.
“We are beyond thrilled to partner with GAA to increase local industry awareness of the BAP certification standards,” said Manish Kumar, CEO of The Fishin’ Company. “We believe our company-sponsored Farmer Training Camps, free educational seminars and classes on how to follow our Code of Good Practices will continue to drive positive change in the Chinese tilapia industry and lead to a steady supply of affordable, sustainable high-quality four-star BAP tilapia that our customers will love.
“We do not just want to see a few pockets of four-star BAP tilapia,” he added. “Rather, our goal is to help achieve region-wide, zonal certifications that will benefit the overall health of the Chinese aquaculture industry, the environment that supports it, and our partners that are putting the right plans in place to become certified.”
The iBAP program is designed for aquaculture facilities that are not quite ready to apply for BAP certification. Facilities that enroll in iBAP agree to a step-by-step, deadline-driven plan. Facilities can apply directly or through organizations acting on their behalf, such as a processor, supplier or buyer. Currently, there are 44 facilities worldwide enrolled in iBAP, representing 10 countries (Brazil, Chile, China, Ecuador, Honduras, India, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Thailand), four species (salmon, shrimp, tilapia and trout) as well as aquaculture feed.
The Global Aquaculture Alliance is an international, nonprofit trade association dedicated to advancing environmentally and socially responsible aquaculture. Through the development of its Best Aquaculture Practices certification standards, GAA has become the leading standards-setting organization for aquaculture seafood.
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.