The BioMar factory in Brande, Denmark, which among other products produces fry feed for all of BioMar's markets in Europe, has as the first feed plant in the world, been audited and found to comply with the new ASC-standard for salmon and trout.
- We are very pleased about this approval, as it means, that fish farmers, who want to become ASC certified, can utilize our feed, says Ole Christensen, Managing Director for the BioMar factory in Denmark. Ole Christensen notes with satisfaction, that the systems, BioMar has put in place to document responsible purchasing of e.g. fish meal, fish oil, and soya, are working according to the intentions.
The ASC-logo gives an assurance to consumers, that fish products originating from aquaculture, have been produced in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. The ASC, which is an acronym for Aquaculture Stewardship Council, is as an independent, not-for-profit organisation co-funded by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and The Sustainable Trade Initiative in 2010 to manage the certification of responsible fish farming across the globe.
The CEO of the ASC, Chris Ninnes, explains that the feed sector plays an enormously important role in securing the success of the ASC and also that of the fish farming sector when it takes on the challenges that are posed in only buying feed from demonstrably responsible sources. Some of the efforts required by the feed suppliers are to ensure that all raw materials are traceable to source; that it can be demonstrated that they do not contain species of conservation concern, or are derived from illegal operations.
- Some of the major source materials used in feed can have significant environmental impacts and these need to be reduced. Adoption of best practices will do much to reduce these impacts and the concerted efforts of the feed producers and fish farmers will be pivotal to drive these changes, says Chris Ninnes.
BioMar is at the forefront in promoting responsible practices in aquaculture. The BioSustain program allows BioMar to provide fish farmers with a calculation of the relative sustainability profiles for different feed products. This in turn allows fish farmers to make responsible choices as well as documenting to consumers that the final fish product has been produced with the lowest possible environmental impact. The calculation of the feed sustainability profile is done based on detailed eco-efficiency evaluations of all the different feed ingredients as well as the manufacturing processes.
While the ASC logo is still new and relatively unknown it can be compared to the MSC eco-label, which has in just a couple of years become a well-known symbol guaranteeing that the wild caught fish and fish products originates from sustainable fisheries and has been manufactured in a responsible manner.
After the initial launch of the ASC standard for pangasius and tilapia, it is now the time for trout and salmon to be certified and a large number of fish farmers are going for the ASC -certification.
Alone in Denmark more than 50% of the total volume of trout produced in aquaculture is expected to be certified or in process of certification by the end of 2013.