Pictured from left to right are Liu Bo, Seafood Purchasing Manager, Sofly; Jane Bi, GAA Director of Asia Market Development; and Li Junqiang, General Manager, Fresh Food Division, Sofly.
Beijing Shouhang Guoli Trading Co. has committed to sourcing seafood from Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP)-certified facilities for its Beijing-based supermarket chain, known as Sofly, as part of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed with the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) on Nov. 14.
Sofly agreed to start sourcing BAP seafood and to gradually expand the percentage of BAP seafood that it sources to strengthen its commitment to sustainable seafood. Sofly is a regional supermarket chain that focuses on fresh foods. Currently, Sofly has are approximately 50 stores in Beijing, Hebei, Inner Mongolia, Jiangxi and other nearby provinces and cities and had sales of nearly RMB 1.4 billion in 2017.
“Sofly started direct production in 2004. In the past 15 years, we have purchased from seafood suppliers selected by our own high procurement standards, such as Xingcheng Jiaying Weiye Trading Co. Ltd., Rushan Huaxin Food Co. Ltd. and Hainan Xiangtai Fisheries Co. Ltd. All of these companies are BAP-certified and adhere to the core values of our customers and our business philosophy of sustainable management with gratitude, which means we want to be responsible for food safety and environmental protection. This agreement allows us to showcase that we are responsible for the company, responsible for our employees, and responsible for the comprehensive protection of the seafood products we’re selling,” said Li Junqiang, directorof Sofly’s fresh food division.
This MOU signing highlights a successful year for GAA in the Chinese market, which recently culminated at the 2019 GAA Marketplace Forum on Oct. 29 in conjunction with the China Fisheries & Seafood Expo in Qingdao, China.
“This year, GAA successfully inked strategic cooperation agreements with Hisealink, Jiuye Supply Chain, SpeedFresh and Hema, adopting BAP certification in their procurement strategies. Prior to 2019, JD.com, Yonghui Supermarket and Yiguo Extremely Fresh Network also agree to work with GAA on sourcing BAP seafood,” said GAA’s Jane Bi, director of business development for Asia. “This MOU with Sofly further strengthens the cooperation between GAA and the retail market in northern China. Whether east, west, north or south, BAP seafood will be on Chinese people’s tables.”
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 October, there were 2,247 BAP-certified farms, processing plants, hatcheries and feed mills in 36 countries. Additionally, the BAP program has more than 150 retail and foodservice endorsers committed to sourcing seafood from BAP-certified facilities.
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 GAA.