IFFO welcomes Aquaculture Stewardship Council Responsible Feed Standard consultation.

On 30th June 2015, the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) issued their draft Responsible Feed Standard for public consultation. This is a welcome opportunity to comment on the proposals which form a wide ranging and demanding standard, encompassing environmental impacts, social and welfare requirements, energy usage and other criteria. The consultation document is well written, with clear guidance on where input is required and how this should be submitted.

Although the document also covers the ingredients used to manufacture compound feed, an obvious feature of the draft standard is that the vast majority of the criteria refer to ingredients from marine sources e.g. fishmeal and fish oil. The criteria for land based ingredients, whether vegetable or animal, are very brief in comparison. This is perhaps surprising given that the marine sourced raw materials are the minority of the formulation, typically 10-15% by weight.

However, the marine ingredients industry should see this as a compliment as the draft standard cannot ask for criteria that cannot be met or for standards that are not available. The marine ingredients industry have come a long way in recent years, establishing supplies with independent standards for traceability and environmental impact that are not available from other sectors. Over 40% of the world’s fishmeal supply is now independently certified, compared to less than 5% of the world soya production.

The ASC standards for farmed fish are well respected and provide valuable assurance for retailers and other buyers. However, until land based feed ingredients can offer similar levels of assurance to the marine sector, buyers need to recognise that the ASC Responsible Feed standard offers only a basic level of assurance for the land based ingredients which make up the majority of the feed.

For further details on certified Fishmeal and Fish Oil, please visit

http://www.iffo.net/iffo-rs

For further details of the ASC Consultation, please visit

http://www.asc-aqua.org/index.cfm?act=update.detail&uid=324&lng=1