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October 9, 2014

United States

Massachusetts—National Fish & Seafood–Certification for Small-Shrimp Farms

 

On October 7, 2014, at the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) GOAL 2014 Conference in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, National Fish & Seafood, a USA-based division of the Pacific Andes Group, announced the launch of a unique project that provides small-scale shrimp farmers access to the highest international certification standards for sustainability. The project encourages improvements in environmental protection, food security, biosecurity and traceability.

 

Every year National Fish & Seafood sources, processes and distributes more than 11,500 tons of frozen raw fish fillets and shrimp, cooked shrimp and breaded fish and seafood products under its “National Fish”, “Matlaw’s” and “Schooner” brands.

 

National Fish & Seafood, in collaborating with GAA and the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP), wants to bring small-scale shrimp farmers closer to BAP certification.  With the support of GAA, it will pilot the first four groups of shrimp farmers—two in India, one in Vietnam and one in Indonesia—through a zonal management approach.  The aim is to provide market access for more than 120 small-scale farmers.

 

James Baros, Aquaculture and Sustainability Coordinator at National Fish & Seafood, said, “We passionately believe that aquaculture has the potential to feed a growing world population with a healthy and affordable source of protein.  We are developing a model that encourages all aquafarmers, especially small farmers, to improve culture methods to comply with rigorous environmental and social standards.”

 

National Fish & Seafood is affiliated with more than 50 BAP-certified processing plants, spanning three species (shrimp, tilapia and pangasius) and six countries (China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam).  The majority of its shrimp is from farms contracted through partnerships with local processing plants, allowing the company to control production. The company has also hosted hundreds of hours of responsible shrimp aquaculture seminars in India, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam since 2004.

 

Jeff Sedacca, President of the Shrimp Division at National Fish & Seafood, said, “Small-scale farmers produce the majority of the world’s aquaculture products.  If their production is excluded on the basis of their inability to meet and certify to international standards, then negative impact on the market will be tremendous.”

 

“Educating and engaging small-scale farmers in sustainable practices and compliance with social responsibility are benefits for all of us,” continued Sedacca.  “The purpose of our small farm group program is to address the biggest challenge, which is how to engage small farmers in responsible aquaculture, and make it possible for them to continue to participate in the marketplace.”

 

National Fish & Seafood is also pioneering the concept of Network Integration™ within the global seafood industry. “The future of seafood depends on a safe, reliable and consistent supply.  National Fish & Seafood’s Network Integration™ differs from the seafood industry standard of vertical integration in that it allows us to own and control product through the entire growth cycle without having to own the farms or processing facilities,” said Sedacca. “This gives us the ability to partner with many more small-scale suppliers and ensures that we have enough safe, high-quality product that meets our standards—even when the overall supply chain is disrupted.  It also helps us maintain price predictability and stability.”

 

National Fish & Seafood is also working with Farmforce to develop state-of-the-art technology for seafood traceability.  The software is helping to change the game by using mobile technology to make traceability and compliance an integral part of small-scale farm production.  The use of a mobile, cloud-based platform for tracking traceability on the farm presents a new and cutting-edge innovation that will give the company real time access to each farm’s activities.

 

Information: Jeff Sedacca, National Fish & Seafood, 11-15 Parker Street, Gloucester, MA 01930, USA (phone 1-978-282-7880, fax 1-978-282-7882, email jsedacca@nationalfish.com, webpage http://www.nationalfish.com).

 

Information To arrange an interview with Jeff Sedacca or James Baros, contact Erin Vadala, Warner Communications at erin@warnerpr.com or 1-978-468-3076. High-resolution images and additional information are available upon request.

 

Source: Business Wire.  National Fish & Seafood Launches Sustainability Project for Small-Scale Aquafarmers (Enables Access to High International Certification Standards).  October 7, 2014.

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