Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) is among the third-party certification programs — and currently the only seafood-specific certification program — that Walmart has approved for monitoring supplier social compliance.
The world’s largest retailer is transitioning to a third-party audit approach for monitoring the social compliance of its suppliers’ facilities, replacing the requirement for its own Responsible Sourcing audits. Instead, Walmart’s suppliers will be required to submit a valid audit report from an approved third-party certification program, and BAP is among the certification programs with a social component that meets the retailer’s expectations for worker dignity and safety.
“We appreciate the trust and confidence that Walmart has with the worker protection elements required of BAP-certified facilities, and we will continue to work diligently with our certification bodies and trained auditors to measure up to the expectations of Walmart and ourselves,” said Wally Stevens, executive director of the Global Aquaculture Alliance, which administers the BAP program.
In a June 30 notice to its suppliers, Walmart announced that it is simplifying its Responsible Sourcing program to focus its resources on areas that make the greatest difference for workers in its supply chain, reemphasizing its commitment to preventing forced and child labor and unsafe working conditions. For more than a year, BAP has been working with Walmart to ensure that the standards’ social component meets Walmart’s expectations.
“Social accountability is a fundamental pillar of responsible aquaculture, and GAA is proud to be uniquely recognized within the seafood certification arena for developing such credible and comprehensive standards,” said GAA President George Chamberlain.
GAA is committed to promoting social responsibility through its BAP program. Seafood processing plants, farms, hatcheries and feed mills certified against the BAP standards — of which there are almost 1,800 worldwide — must ensure a safe, healthy working environment. The BAP standards also address wages and other terms of employment as well as the use of forced and child labor.
Additionally, GAA is about to launch training modules on social accountability through its online learning platform. The organization worked with labor-rights authority Birgitte Kough-Poulsen, a member of GAA’s Standards Oversight Committee (SOC), to develop the training modules.
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. It’s also the only certification program to cover the entire aquaculture production chain — processing plants, farms, hatcheries and feed mills. The BAP program is based on independent third-party accredited certification body audits evaluating compliance with the BAP standards, and the SOC continually updates and strengthens the BAP standards.
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.