National Fish & Seafood Signs MoU with Global Aquaculture Alliance, Leading Global Aquaculture Producer, Minh Phu at Seafood Expo North America 2016
GLOUCESTER, MA – March 7 2016 – National Fish & Seafood (NFS), a U.S.-based division of Pacific Andes Group, is pleased to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the GAA (Global Aquaculture Alliance) and Vietnam-based Minh Phu, one of the largest aquaculture producers in the world. The MoU will help bring over 800 small aquaculture farms into the ranks of certified facilities over the next 12 months, enabling them to then meet the demands of the marketplace for certified shrimp. Additionally, these farms are deploying an innovative approach to aquaculture within the sensitive and vulnerable mangrove forest environment – through a method that enables the mangroves to benefit and thrive while enriching the aquaculture ecosystem.
Media is invited to attend the signing of the MoU at 2:30pm EST at the National Fish & Seafood booth at the Seafood Expo North America 2016, Booth # 305. Representatives from the participating organizations will be available for interviews and to share commentary and insight.
The BAP certification program is a globally recognized standard and aquaculture management system, which covers a comprehensive approach to areas such as Social Responsibility, Animal Health and Welfare, Environmental, Food Safety, and Traceability throughout the aquaculture supply chain.
This MoU supports an innovative approach for unifying small aquafarmers that would typically lack infrastructure, training and resources to access the BAP certification processes independently. It empowers them to become certified as a group – elevating each farm’s ability to sell their product successfully to an increasingly competitive and selective marketplace, which demands BAP certification to ensure the highest standards of production and quality.
Additionally, the program supported by the MoU includes a unique environmental benefit due to the integrated mangrove forest shrimp farming being practiced by a number of the farms participating. Integrated mangrove forest shrimp farming combines the economic use of mangrove forests with shrimp aquaculture. As a result, mangrove forests are maintained and preserved to provide habitat and food for the animals that are raised in small channels and ponds within the forest.
In these systems, shrimp are raised with no feed or chemicals. The ecosystem fully relies on its own natural productivity, which creates incentives for farmers to maintain mangroves. The forest provides the shrimp with natural food, and higher more stable incomes for families and communities.
The signatories are applying for co-funding from Dutch, Swiss and Danish sustainable trade organization, IDH, via the GAA, to further support this exciting project. Demand for certified BAP shrimp is surging globally, and the signing of the MoU represents a change in the industry to meet this demand while providing sustainable protection for one of the most important and delicate ecosystems on earth.
About National Fish & Seafood
National Fish & Seafood, a U.S.-based division of Pacific Andes Group, is a national supplier/partner of seafood to major retailers, distributors, institutional food service and restaurant chains located across the United States. Every year the company 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. Matlaw’s famous stuffed clams are the #1 selling seafood appetizer in the United States.The company maintains its own 66,000 square foot, SQF Level 3 certified processing facility located adjacent to its headquarters in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Visit www.NationalFish.com to learn more.
A division of the Global Aquaculture Alliance, 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 — that assure healthful foods produced through environmentally and socially responsible means.