Farmed fish processing plants may now achieve BAP and GAA certifications through a single audit process. (Photo: BAP/FIS)
GAA standards benchmarked
Thursday, June 03, 2010, 02:10 (GMT + 9)
The Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification programme has been successfully levelled with Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) food safety standards. The scheme was fully recognised by the GFSI Board of Directors on Monday.
Through a single audit process, seafood processing plants can now receive both BAP certification and GFSI compliance.
“Achieving this prestigious GFSI benchmarking is an important milestone for the BAP program that will assure global markets that seafood from BAP-certified facilities meets the highest standards for food safety,” GAA Executive Director Wally Stevens said. “It also will make it easier for plants to meet the demands of seafood retailers, distributors and marketers that require GFSI.”
GFSI documents offer an internationally viable yardstick to measure any food or farm assurance standard. GFSI follows continuous improvement in food safety management and cost efficiency in the supply chain while representing a collaboration of leading experts from retail, manufacturing and foodservice firms.
The BAP programme’s food safety elements meet the guidelines set by GFSI based on industry best practices and science. The BAP certification programme also transcends food safety to address traceability, animal welfare, environmental sustainability and social responsibility in supplementary certification standards.
“GFSI benchmarking is particularly meaningful as BAP expands to include new species and cover the full production chain,” Stevens noted.
BAP certification standards were recently completed for feed mills, and standards for pangasius farms are also nearly ready. These certifications are complemented by BAP requirements for shrimp farms and hatcheries, tilapia farms and channel catfish farms.
“In light of the growing importance of aquaculture within the food supply chain and the future needs of a growing population, the GFSI recognition of the food safety elements within this scheme will provide confidence in products sourced from this method of production,” Jürgen Matern, chairman of the GFSI board of directors, said.
The leading standards-setting organisation for aquaculture seafood, GAA is an international, non-profit trade association whose BAP programme provides comprehensive, metrics-based certification for aquaculture facilities -- including farms, hatcheries and processing facilities.
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