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GAA Completes BAP Standards For Feed Mills

Nutrition Food safety & handling +2 more

US - The Global Aquaculture Alliance, the leading standards-setting organisation for farmed seafood, has added another link to its Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification programme by completing BAP standards for feed mill certification.

The addition of the feed mill standards expands BAP certification to cover the full aquaculture production chain, from hatchery to processing plant. Feed manufacturers can now achieve BAP certification by contacting Best Aquaculture Practices Certification Management, formerly the Aquaculture Certification Council.

"In developing these new standards, GAA has not only addressed best practices for food safety within manufacturing plants, but also the sustainability of fishmeal supplies," GAA President George Chamberlain said.

The BAP programme requires feed mills to develop plans to avoid unsustainable sources of raw materials and transition to fishmeal and fish oil from responsibly managed fisheries. By 2015, at least 50 per cent of the fishmeal and fish oil derived from reduction fisheries and fishery by-products must come from approved certified sources.

BAP-certified feed mills must indicate a feed fish inclusion factor (FFIF) on product labels, packaging or other documentation that quantifies marine ingredient content for all aquaculture feeds. This allows farms to easily calculate fish in:fish out ratios simply by multiplying the inclusion factors by their feed-conversion ratios.

The feed mill standards are the result of work by a technical committee chaired by Dr Sergio Nates, president of the Fats and Proteins Research Foundation. Beginning in 2007, the standards development process benefited from a public review in which comments were received from both conservationists and aquaculture professionals. The standards were also revised following review and unanimous approval by the BAP Standards Oversight Committee.

"Development of the feed mill standards was a lengthy process that involved input from major ingredient suppliers, feed manufacturers, NGOs and other stakeholders," Mr Nates said. "Once completed, however, we resolved some difficult issues, such as the transition to certified sustainable fishmeal sources and a transparent and audited system that allows farmers to determine fish in:fish out ratios."

The BAP standards and guidelines for feed mills, which share many points with the BAP standards for aquaculture farms and processing plants, address food safety as well as environmental and social responsibility. Mills must apply management practices that protect workers and their rights, and process controls that properly handle ingredients and finished products to avoid potential environmental, health and food safety issues.