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ASC Group Certification 




A group of 50, small shrimp farms—out of nearly 700 in Ecuador’s El Oro Province—is getting ready for Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification.  It will be a trial run of ASC’s certification methodology for groups of small producers.  ASC feels it’s important that it provides affordable certification opportunities to groups of small shrimp farms.  Roy van Daatselaar, ASC’s producer support manager, said, “This methodology will be released in autumn this year.  So farmers should be able to become group certified by the end of this year or early in 2018.”


He pointed out that the El Oro farmers could potentially obtain individual certification, but they might want to wait until the new methodology is released to see how much the group plan lowers the certification investment hurdle.  Once the methodology is released, the El Oro province producers will likely approach third-party auditors to finalize their certification.


The El Oro farmers have been working on this project since 2014, said Juan Navarro, the Netherlands-based director of the Ecuadorean export promotion agency ProEcuador.


ASC’s standards for responsible shrimp aquaculture focus on the environmental and social impact of farming.  Environmentally, farms must show that they actively minimize their impact on the surrounding natural environment.  This extends to careful management of the biodiversity surrounding the farms including mangrove areas, limiting the use of feed, staying within strict parameters for water quality and discharge, and following rigorous requirements to minimize disease outbreaks.


Socially, all ASC certified farms need to be considered to have safe and equitable working environments where employees earn a decent wage and have regulated working hours.  Certified farms need to consult and engage with local communities to ensure they provide access to vital resources and deal with complaints or conflicts in a proper manner.


van Daatselaar said, “In Ecuador the level of production is quite good in terms of responsible farming practices and taking care of the environment....  ASC certification is a great way for producers in Ecuador to show that they are doing the right thing.”

Information: Roy van Daatselaar (Phone +31-(0)-30 239-31-10, Email roy.vandaatselaar@asc-aqua.org).


Source: Undercurrent News [eight free news reads every month].  Editor, Tom Seaman.  First Small Shrimp Farmers Progress Toward ASC Group Certification in Ecuador.  Matilde Mereghetti (matilde.mereghetti@undercurrentnews.com).  August 3, 2017.


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