Shrimp farming. (Photo: GAP)
Chain of custody option offered for BAP certification
Monday, July 04, 2011, 03:00 (GMT + 9)
The Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAP) is introducing a new option for achieving the traceability required for Best Aquaculture Practice (BAP) certification.
Effective September 1, facilities that apply for or renew their BAP certifications can opt to use either the current online verification or a chain of custody verification. Either approach to meeting the traceability required in the BAP standards will be verified during the third-party audits of the facilities.
Currently, all BAP-certified hatcheries, farms, feed mills and processing plants are required to maintain specified traceability data for at least one step forward and one back. Farms, for example, must identify inputs such as sources of juveniles and feed, production data such as the use of therapeutants and buyers of harvested products.
During BAP site audits, facilities must demonstrate that effective internal traceability systems are in use. In addition to the internal traceability, BAP certification has required that participants enter or upload key portions of the specified data to the BAP online traceability database. This assists in the verification of the chain of custody of multiple BAP-certified inputs, which is depicted within the BAP retail packaging mark as stars for processing plant, farm, hatchery and feed mill.
With the new option, facilities that select chain of custody for traceability verification will have records reviewed by third-party auditors as part of their initial or renewal certification audits. The adoption of chain of custody verification as an alternative to participation in online traceability will provide a more achievable option for small farms and will not result in any changes in program fees.
The Global Aquaculture Alliance recognizes that various companies in the international marketplace prefer their suppliers to employ electronic traceability. The BAP program will therefore continue to provide that capability through the production chain for aquaculture facilities and retail and foodservice businesses that require it.