However, ACC standards are becoming essential to many retail and food service buyers such as Wal-Mart. These outlets are now demanding that their seafood providers meet independent, third-party qualification to ensure product quality - and ACC is deemed a reliable and reputable international standard.
Norbert Sporns, president and CEO of HQS, said that the certification endorses the company's commitment to sustainable quality production.
"Our role is to guarantee to our consumers and investors that we stand behind our products. But the HQ Sustainable commitment to quality must be part of an industry-wide effort to educate the public to the choices available. The establishment of reliable standards, monitored and regulated by influential groups like the ACC, validates our commitment to quality and helps HQS in the rollout of its toxin-free brands throughout the United States and Europe,” he explained.
The company's production methods are toxin-free and use no hormones, antibiotics, malachite green or any toxins.
Mitigating roleMr Sporns believes that sustainable aquaculture practices are environmentally responsible and could help mitigate the potential collapse of ocean fisheries. While better resource management and fishing restrictions could also correct that loss, aquaculture is already augmenting the global seafood supply and will continue to grow with demand, said Mr Sporns.
“The terrible scenario of ‘fish-free seas’ could be realised if current practices go unchecked. Expanding toxin-free aquaculture and improving public awareness of ACC's standards could alleviate some of the pressure on our oceans," Mr Sporns said.
HQS’s nutraceutical plant has also earned certification of Chinese Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP).