The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) and the Federation of European Aquaculture Producers (FEAP) have announced that are joining forces to improve the aquaculture sector in Europe and ensure it is better recognized at a political level. The two organizations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the ASC’s booth at the Seafood Expo Global in Barcelona, held between April 26 and 28.
ASC and FEAP pledge to work together towards their shared vision of a responsible aquaculture sector providing the solution to growing food demand, have assured.
This collaboration comes at a time of growing recognition in Europe as elsewhere of the importance of sustainable food systems, they emphasized. These issues are being looked at by the EU, and both ASC and FEAP have built up valuable knowledge and experience over many years that can help with these developments. FEAP members will also benefit from greater access to ASC’s guidance on improving farm practices, which always bring economic as well as environmental benefits.
The importance of homegrown seafood
Chris Ninnes, ASC CEO, said: “Aquaculture’s importance to Europe can’t be overstated: homegrown seafood like salmon, shellfish and seabass are vital to economies across the continent and provide food security. A more effective, and better represented, industry is better for all Europeans.”
“From its inception the ASC program has been about collaboration between diverse stakeholders, so we know how effective this can be at driving change across the industry,’ he added.
Lara Barazi-Geroulanou, FEAP’s President, for her part stated: “European aquaculture is frontrunner on environmental and social sustainability, but is a small player in the market. The European Union’s legal framework is in need of clear and sound technical screening criteria for sustainable aquaculture. Our working experience as fish farmers, teaming up with the expertise of the ASC on responsible aquaculture standards, will assure reaching valuable results’.
The collaboration will be driven by a steering group co-chaired by Chris Ninnes and FEAP’s General Secretary Javier Ojeda, which will identify opportunities and manage projects in line with the organizations’ shared objectives.
According to the EU, aquaculture employs around 70,000 people across the continent, most of which are small businesses or micro-enterprises in coastal and rural areas.
The world’s leading certification scheme for farmed seafood
The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) is the world’s leading certification scheme for farmed seafood – known as aquaculture – and the ASC label only appears on food from farms that have been independently assessed and certified as being environmentally and socially responsible.
Together with their partners, the ASC runs an ambitious program to transform the world’s seafood markets and promote the best environmental and social aquaculture performance.
In the context of Seafood Expo Global of Barcelona
The Seafood Expo Global of Barcelona is considered the most important trade fair in the world. This year it was held from April 26 to 28 with around a thousand exhibiting companies, including fish and seafood producers, traders and technology and service companies from more than 89 countries. It was expected that around 30,000 professionals from all over the world would come to do business.
Celebrated More than 175 exhibitors come from countries of the Mediterranean basin, highlighting the significant number of companies producing sea bream and sea bass, as well as large sole and turbot. The largest of our country will be present, such as Nueva Pescanova and Stolt Sea Farm, among others.
Seafood Expo Global is being held this year at the Fira de Barcelona in conjunction with the brand new Seafood Processing Global Exhibitor.