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First farm achieves ASC certification through ASC Improver Program

First farm achieves ASC certification through ASC Improver Program

WAS
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The Indonesian shrimp farm Koyo Segoro Endah (KSE) has become the first farm to earn Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification after participating in an Aquaculture Improvement Project (AIP) under the Improver Program by the institution. ASC’s Improver Program supports seafood farms that are committed to improving their farming practices through an AIP and are not yet ready or eligible for ASC certification. 

“Our ASC certification means that we now have a place in the global marketplace and are meeting the demand for responsibly farmed shrimp, a milestone we couldn’t have reached without ASC’s Improver Program,” said Rudyanto, Farm Manager of KSE.

According to the ASC, KSE’s journey to the certification has been an effort of multiple partners, including processor Sekar Bumi, NGO ThinkAqua, ASC and NGO Yayasan Sinergi Akuakultur Indonesia (YSAI) as implementer for the AIP. “The support we received from our partners throughout this process was invaluable. It gave us the knowledge and confidence we needed to move forward to ASC certification,” said Rudyanto.

“The YSAI team has many years of experience supporting broad improvements in the shrimp sector in Indonesia, and we have been excited to help KSE become an ASC certified farm,” said for his part Kenidas Lukman, CEO of YSAI.

Well-supported, staged approach

“Our mission at ASC is to drive the transformation of global aquaculture towards environmental sustainability and social responsibility, but making improvements in that direction hasn’t been possible for many farms,” said Roy van Daatselaar, global lead for the Improver Program by ASC.

“Our Improver Program gives these farms a well-supported, staged approach to make improvements and ultimately attain ASC certification. KSE’s certification is evidence that step-by-step improvement works, and we extend a big congratulations to them on the great work they have done,” he added.

“As a quality supplier to global markets, we know that there is increasing demand for ASC certified shrimp. The AIP process gave us a pipeline to supply that demand,” said Pak Gary Iyawan, Operations Director at Sekar Bumi.

Improver Program

ASC already drives and supports improvements in seafood farming at scale across the world through its certification program. For those not ASC certified, the Improver Program by ASC has been created to support farms who are not ready or eligible for ASC certification but are committed to improving their farming practices through an AIP. The combined impact of these many small changes in non-certified seafood farming contribute to ASC’s goal of transforming seafood farming, as a whole, for the future.

With the program’s initial focus on shrimp farms, additional species will be eligible in the future.

When an AIP joins ASC’s Improver Program, it is supported along one of two routes: AIP to ASC certification or AIP to Better Practices. Through the first route, ASC supports the farm to improve performance to a level at which it is ready to become ASC certified. Through the second route, ASC supports the farm to improve their practices in specific environmental or social areas without ASC certification as the end-goal. 

Independently assessed

The Aquaculture Stewardship Council was launched in 2010 as an impact-driven NGO. Its members partnered with the Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative IDH and WWF Netherlands to try to make aquaculture more sustainable. “We do this by setting strict standards for seafood and farms and deliver high assurance throughout the supply chain,” they assure.

To drive their third-party certification and labelling program for seafood farming worldwide, they work with the environmental and scientific community and beyond. Together, they develop standards with other NGOs, academics, farmers, retailers and experts. And they continue to develop more standards to meet changing market needs and demand.

According to them, ASC certified farms are independently assessed against every requirement in their species-specific ASC standard. Their system has been evaluated against ISEAL’s Codes of Good Practice, a globally-recognized framework for effective, credible sustainability systems. “Playing to these codes, we’ve become the world’s leading farmed seafood certification program, from farm to fork,” they say.

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Cargill Empyreal75
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