The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) was founded in 2010, and has developed a certification programme with standards for the responsible production of aquaculture products. A number of global standards for responsible aquaculture were developed between industry stakeholders and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
Once fish farms and aquaculture sites have achieved ASC certification, being able to know that those farmed products in the supply chain actually come from an ASC certified site is integral to the ASC programme. Hence the ASC have also set a standard for supply chain traceability known as ASC Chain of Custody (ASC CoC).
This demonstrates that all businesses in the supply chain that have purchased and processed the product have been independently audited against the ASC CoC standard. This ensures that the ASC ecolabel is only used on ASC certified seafood, and means that consumers can have the knowledge that the farmed fish they buy comes from a certified site that meets ASC standards for responsible aquaculture.
Once certified, farms can sell their products as meeting ASC standards for responsible aquaculture. To make such a claim or to use the ASC logo, systems must be in place to ensure traceability. Certified products will be traced through the supply chain by Chain of Custody (CoC) certification. Every company that handles the product in the supply chain needs to hold a valid CoC certificate. Only then will the product be allowed to carry the ASC logo. To achieve CoC certification each company in the supply chain must meet strict requirements for their traceability systems. This guarantees that the product was produced in compliance with ASC's standards for responsible aquaculture.
Businesses wishing to undertake ASC CoC certification need to gain independent assessment. To do this a business will engage an accredited certifier to audit their business against the ASC CoC standard. Businesses which already hold a current MSC Chain of Custody certificate can contact their certifier to allow this certificate to be extended to cover certified ASC product. In most cases this is a simple administrative process, but it has be undertaken by the certification body.
Contacts and further info:
See their Quick Start Guide regarding Chain of Custody certification and logo use: click here
Or download the full user guide: click here