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QA Certification for Cooke Aquaculture

NEW BRUNSWICK - The freshwater division of Cooke Aquaculture has earned accreditation to the Seafood Trust's Certified Quality Salmon Eco - Label.

The company announced its accreditation to the scheme at the Boston Seafood Show. Its hatcheries in Oak Bay, New Brunswick, Canada and Bingham, Maine, USA have achieved all the requirements for certification but says that this is only the first step in Cooke's goal to achieve company-wide endorsement of the standards.

The Certified Quality Salmon Eco-Label Program is the world’s first international aquaculture eco-label certification program to be accredited to the internationals standards EN45011/ IS065.

They are designed to identify premium environmentally managed products and to assist the international aquaculture industry in demonstrating and proving its commitment to environmentally sustainable development, low impact farming and conservation when producing and processing seafood.

Applicants must be able to demonstrate compliance with set standards to and qualify assessments undertaken by independent certification body IFQC (Independent Food Quality Certification) Ltd. Members are audited regularly to ensure on-going compliance and improvement.

Green Logistics

To achieve certification, Cooke Aquaculture’s freshwater division had to provide evidence of a management commitment to environmentally sustainable development and demonstrate a strong environmental management policy incorporating green logistics.

The Eco-standards detail a number of specifications including: reducing of the visual impact of sites; the use of feed derived from sustainable sources; a reduction of energy waste; the elimination of non-recyclable materials where feasible; prevention of fuel and chemical spillages and protection from taints. It must also respect for surrounding nature, archaeological and culture of the landscape.

IFQC’s Managing Director, Mr. Peter Marshall said that the new IFQC - Seafood Trust Certification Mark should help companies translate green achievements into gold credentials. IFQC commends Cooke Aquaculture’s achievement and environmental leadership.

“Accredited Certification is the recipe for trust and will allow the Canadian and US industries to transparently demonstrate their commitment to a sustainable environment through sustainable practices and environmental responsibility," he said.

Proud

Dr. Jake Elliott of Cooke Aquaculture said he and his Freshwater team were delighted with the certification.

"We have been successful in achieving this first step in bringing this Seafood Trust Eco - Label to our entire operations and we are committed to rolling this program out through our saltwater and processing operations. It is our goal to achieve that by the fall of 2008,” he added.

Glenn Cooke, the company’s CEO said he was proud his company was at the forefront of many sustainable initiatives like the Bay Management approach to farming and its investment in a DNA traceability program and in Integrated Multitrophic Aquaculture - a practice of growing several complementary species on one farm.

"As well as our focus on conservation and science partnerships. As a customer-focused company, this certification will help us to demonstrate to the consumer that we not only produce delicious, healthy and fresh products but that they are grown in an environmentally sustainable manner,” he added.

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Ellen Hardy

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