From 11 to 14 September, ASC certified sea bass and sea bream producers had the opportunity to showcase their responsible farming practices to representatives from Morrisons, Tesco, Mercadona, La Sirena, Giant Eagle and El Continente, who enjoyed a full programme in the Bodrum area of Turkey, getting detailed insights into the farming operations of ASC certified producers.
Activities included visiting farm sites and feed barges, observing the harvest using latest electric stunning techniques, and touring processing and grading facilities, seeking to ensure buyers that the fish is raised to the highest environmental, welfare and social standards.
The summit aimed to give representatives from the retail sector insight into the farming and processing operations of aquaculture producers, whilst also showing how ASC certification standards are implemented in action at the sites.
“We signed up for the summit to better understand how the criteria of the ASC standards play out in a country like Turkey. The continuous improvement to which we aspire to led us to get to know the reality of the sector at its origin and doing so with the help of ASC and the rest of the retailers helps us see where to direct our future strategies,” said Maria Sapiña Escrivá, environmental manager at Mercadona, a Spanish supermarket chain.
The ASC standard for sea bass and sea bream was added to the suite of ASC standards at the end of 2018, with Sürsan in Turkey and Nireus (now Avramar) in Greece becoming the first ASC certified farms for these species in June 2019. Now, four years later, there are almost 200 farm sites spread over Spain, Greece, Albania, Croatia and Turkey that are constantly improving their practices and comply with the strict ASC standard.
“I joined the summit to see ASC standards in action in the supply chain and gain further understanding of how suppliers interact with these requirements. The trip was brilliant and really showcased the Turkish bass and bream industry and the improvements they have made on their ASC journey. I'm keen to further understand future revisions to the standard that will include feed and welfare elements,” said Ben Lambden, sustainable aquaculture & fisheries manager at Tesco.