THE shrimp aquaculture sector launched the Sustainable Shrimp Partnership (SSP) at the Seafood exhibition in Boston this morning.
Pioneered in Ecuador, members of the SSP are committed to achieving and promoting the highest quality products.
The group has outlined strict criteria all members must meet, including certification by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC); no use of antibiotics; fully traceable products; and minimal environmental impact, measured through an assessment of water quality.
José Antonio Camposano, executive president, National Chamber of Aquaculture from Ecuador, said: ‘Up until this point the shrimp sector has been a commodity market, and quality has often taken a back seat to prices.
‘But there are consumers who want more choice. Consumers who care about what they eat, and how it has been produced, and it is time they were offered a choice of farmed shrimp that meets the highest standards and is fully traceable to its origins. Shrimp grown by producers who care, for consumers who care.’
The SSP members are looking to drive industry wide improvements through collaboration with other companies and stakeholders, and also driving consumer awareness.
‘The SSP has set ambitious targets,’ said Jason Clay of the World Wildlife Fund. ‘Achieving ASC and ensuring full traceability will be no easy feat, but their recognition for what is necessary in today’s changing food market landscape sets them apart from many and will have impacts on the whole seafood sector.’
The SSP was launched by seven founding members from Ecuador but invites any company or region who shares its ambition and can meet the product criteria to join.