The global aquaculture sector produces over 5 million tonnes of shrimp each year, and the SSP’s members sought to differentiate their product.
“One of the main goals SSP set three years ago was to elevate the performance of the whole industry, so seeing other companies in various regions adopting these challenges is a proof that the industry is willing to improve; they just need someone who takes the lead and SSP will continue to do so,” said José Antonio Camposano, executive president of the National Aquaculture Chamber from Ecuador, in a statement to mark the milestone.
After developing one of the most demanding protocols for shrimp production with the guidance of SSP advisory board - formed by World Wildlife Fund (WWF), The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH), the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) and the Colombian Institute of Technical Standards and Certification - SSP members are submitted to constant verification during each production cycle to ensure zero use of antibiotics, full traceability, and no negative impact on the local environment, demonstrating the compliance of best production practices.
“It is difficult to move a village, much less the global shrimp sector,” noted Aaron McNevin, global network lead for aquaculture at WWF. “By seeking a radical level of transparency in performance and impact, the SSP has challenged the sector in a race to the top.”
The adoption of blockchain technology from the IBM Food Trust by SSP during 2020 enables consumers to access information on SSP shrimp by simply scanning a QR code.
“With hard work, commitment, and creativity, SSP has shown the aquaculture world that value can be achieved through collaboration between producers including differentiation and a premium product,” noted Marcos Moya, market development and producer support manager for ASC. “I have been fortunate to accompany the development of SSP since its inception and I have seen the tireless effort and the rewards. Although current circumstances around the world are not helping, the pandemic has helped to demonstrate how solid the global commitment is for sustainability. For SSP and the founding partners, the commitment to their objectives and the effectiveness of their team has made this possible”.
As inclusion has been one of SSP pillars and a key element to generate a wider impact on shrimp aquaculture industry, SSP – alongside its advisory board – has implemented a farm improvement programme, which aims to help small and mid-sized farms in Ecuador work towards the highest levels of environmental and social standards, achieving ASC-certification and ultimately comply with SSP additional criterions.
“With enthusiasm and relentless optimism SSP started a front running race to the top for the whole shrimp industry to follow. We often show the SSP as ‘the best kid in class example’ to others in the sector.” said Lisa Van Wageningen, program officer aquaculture, at The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH). “They have really paved the way in showing sustainable shrimp farming is viable. Let’s aim now for the extra mile: measuring and reducing the environmental footprint of shrimp production, including feed ingredients. I challenge SSP to show that this can be done too.”
The 12 farms currently operating under SSP criteria and producing SSP approved shrimp are Agromarina, Lebama and Salmos farms (Songa – Sociedad Nacional de Galápagos); Produmar farm (Grupo Almar); Cachugran farm (Omarsa); Campamento Naturisa and Rio Nilo farms (Naturisa); Greentrail Corp, Lanec and Bellitec farms (Grupo Lanec); Marfrisco and Quiñonez farms (Promarisco, Grupo Nueva Pescanova).
SSP also has associate members, including Biomar, Skretting and Evonik.