Stapimex is the world’s first shrimp operation, and the second across all species, to successfully complete the new Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) group farm program, the Global Aquaculture Alliance announced in mid-January.
Stapimex (Soc Trang Seafood Joint Stock Company), one of Vietnam’s largest shrimp producers, earned BAP certification for six of its shrimp farm sites located in Vietnam’s Soc Trang province. The BAP certification was sponsored by U.S.-based National Fish & Seafood.
“We are extremely pleased that the first shrimp farm group has achieved international recognition through BAP certification,” said Jeff Sedacca, president of National Fish & Seafood’s shrimp division. “This historic milestone will make it possible for the thousands of smallholder shrimp farms around the world to meet the environmental and social standards of the BAP program and achieve certification gaining access to international markets. This project has been the result of a year-and-a-half collaboration between Stapimex, National Fish & Seafood and GAA. National Fish & Seafood is grateful for the hard work of everyone involved in this project.”
“We are delighted to see this milestone reached and commend the hard work put in by both National Fish and Stapimex to achieve the group certification,” added Peter Redmond, BAP’s VP of market development. “Vehicles like group certification are imperative for the future growth of responsible, certified aquaculture. There are literally hundreds of thousands of farms around the world, and not having this type of program severely limits the ability for any certification program to be effective beyond the ‘top’ farms. We applaud this effort and look forward to using this model extensively going forward.”
For group farms, a subset of the total number of sites is audited; the ability to qualify for group requires an applicant to implement strict and consistent internal controls across all of its operations. Marine Harvest Canada was the world’s first operation to attain BAP certification through the group farm program.
The BAP group farm program is separate from an integrated operating module (IOM), in which groups of medium- to small-sized farms are organized under the sponsorship of a processor, farmer cooperative or association, or other legally recognized entity.
A division of the Global Aquaculture Alliance, Best Aquaculture Practices is an international certification program based on achievable, science-based and continuously improved global 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.