The project is a collaborative effort between the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), the Vietnamese Directorate of Fisheries (D-Fish) and WWF Vietnam, and has established a benchmark to compare the Vietnamese aquaculture standard, VietGAP, and the ASC standards for shrimp, pangasius and tilapia, to allow farms that have achieved VietGAP certification to transition to ASC certification as efficiently as possible.
The guidance documents for farmers were released today, following an initial presentation and plenary discussion at the Vietfish conference last month in Ho Chi Minh City. Farmers that have achieved VietGAP certification and wish to pursue ASC certification previously lacked easy access to information outlining what they needed to meet the requirements. With the commonalities identified, farmers can now focus on the areas of difference between the certifications, thereby streamlining the ASC certification process for Vietnamese farmers.
D-Fish manages the VietGAP standard, which currently certifies 390 shrimp, pangasius and tilapia producers. The directorate has endorsed the benchmark and will be using its links with Vietnam’s fish farmers to promote the guidance.
Roy van Daatselaar, producer support manager at ASC, led the work on the benchmark for the organisation and presented the new programme at Vietfish. He said: “The ASC is a global certification programme which brings many advantages to producers, but we also recognise that every region has different opportunities and challenges.
“This collaboration allows us to work with local partners to put things into a regional context, to extend the reach and benefits of ASC certification.
“There are many areas of overlap between the ASC and VietGAP standards, so this work should help highlight these areas and build a stepping stone approach to help farmers to identify what action they might need to take to achieve ASC certification.”
“WWF Vietnam supports sustainable aquaculture, benchmarking VietGAP and ASC will support to mobilize resources and increase opportunities of good aquaculture practice products to access the global market,” said Huynh Quoc Tinh from WWF Vietnam.