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Spanish sustainability breakthrough

the Fish Site Editor
13 April 2017, at 1:00am

Piscifactoria Del Alba, which farms rainbow trout at three freshwater sites, is the first aquaculture producer in Spain to gain Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification.

Located in Asturias, the company has been dedicated to the production of rainbow trout for more than 50 years, supplying trout to Colruyt in Spain, as well as exporting to multiple European markets including Belgium, Denmark, and Germany.

"A sustainable fish assortment is a priority to Colruyt Group,” says fish buyer Michel Jenquin. “Most of our aquaculture fish is ASC certified. By supporting the first Spanish producer of ASC trout, we will be able to offer the first ASC certified frozen trout in our different store formats from now on. It allows us to meet the increasing demand of our customers for more sustainable products.”

The production process for Piscifactoria Del Alba begins in the Alba River, in the heart of the Redes Natural Park, a Biosphere Reserve. In order to preserve optimal natural conditions, the farm works to control and reduce any environmental impact generated by its activity.

“Currently, the European market is demanding companies to be more socially and environmentally responsible,” said Fidel Cabero Díaz, Quality and Food Safety Manager at Piscifactoria del Alba. “Our company has been working for years to be respectful with our environment and for this reason we decided to pursue the ASC certification. We are sure this will enable us to expand our market towards those people who, like us, care about the environment and the people around us.”

The Spanish aquaculture sector has received a great deal of attention in the last decade. According to Eurostat data from 2014 cited by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, one-sixth of European marine products originate in Spain. Due to the high quality of inland water which is well suited to farming the species, rainbow trout production is expected to drive the further expansion of the country’s inland aquaculture business.

“We are delighted to welcome Piscifactoria Del Alba into the ASC programme,” said Esther Luiten, ASC’s Commercial Director. “As the very first Spanish farm to achieve ASC certification, Piscifactoria del Alba joins a distinguished group of producers who have met strict criteria to show that they care for nature and the people who work on and live near their farms. Operations such as theirs are examples that a passion for producing fish in a way that honours the environment is a good business decision”.

The farm received the certificate after an audit performed by Acoura Marine Limited, which found the company to be in compliance with the ASC Freshwater Trout Standard at each of its three rainbow trout farm sites Alba I, Alba II, and Alba III.