Officials with Northern Harvest Sea Farms were very excited recently as the company was recognized as an industry leader by an international certification program.
The company became the first salmon operation in North America to receive the Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) ‘three-star’ certification.
To achieve the three-star status, NHSF partnered with Skretting Canada whose two feed mills in St. Andrews, New Brunswick and Vancouver, British Columbia were recently certified to the BAP standards.
For its farm star, NHSF has seven BAP certified sites in eastern Canada. Their harvests of fish are processed by NHSF certified plant in New Brunswick, which comprises the third star in the BAP retail mark that will appear on North Harvest products.
Larry Ingalls. The president and CEO of NHSF said, “We are very delighted to be the leaders in sustainability and have demonstrated our commitment to the future with a goal of full certification from egg to plate, including our new state-of-the-art land-based hatchery in Stephenville, Newfoundland.
Steve French, the director of Sales and Marketing with NHSF, said that the certification is an important achievement for the company.
French said, “Most of the major retailers have stated that, by 2013, they are only going to be supplying salmon farmed products from sustainable sources. We realized the need to work toward this satuts in order to sell to many of the larger retailers, and other companies, in Canada, the United States and in other regions of the world.
“We want to show the world that we’re kind of leading the way with regards to sustainable and responsible farming practices.”
The highest certification a salmon company can receive for the BAP is a first-star certification and NHSF personnel are now working to becoming the first company in the world to achieve this recognition.
According to French, the standards for a four-start status are in development and may be in place within the next six months.
He said, “We’re working hard right now to have our ultra-modern hatchery in Stephenville, Newfoundland receive certification which will help us become the first possible- ‘four-star’ salmon operation on the planet.
“NHSF has taken the initiative to become a world leader in salmon farming, and these standards are important to us as we keep on working towards a sustainable and responsible industry.”
Best Aquaculture Practices is an international certification program based on achievable, science-based and continuously improved global performance standards for the entire aquaculture supply chain – farms, hatcheries, processing plants and feed mills.
BAP certification is based on the international Best Aquaculture Practices developed by the Global Aquaculture Alliance, the leading standards setting organization for aquaculture seafood.
For salmon and other major farmed species, BAP requires effective management of animal health, feed inputs, and water quality and food safety.
In a process that includes site inspections and in-depth audits, social responsibility and traceability are additional requirements.
BAP Vice-President of Development, Peter Redmond, said, “Northern Harvest is moving ahead as a leader in salmon certification. From plant to farms, and now feed, the company is working hard to operate in a responsible way. We hope that more facilities, both in North America and elsewhere will follow their path.”