Four-star BAP status denotes a combination of the company’s salmon processing facilities, farms, feed mills and hatcheries are BAP certified.
Cooke Aquaculture Inc. – North America’s largest vertically-integrated, independent salmon-farming company is now the largest producer of BAP fourstar certified salmon in North America, which is marketed under the True North Salmon brand.
The Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) confirmed the Four-Star BAP certification the highest level possible – for Cooke this week when three hatchery facilities were certified. This makes Cooke the first salmon company in the world to have more than one hatchery certified and additional facilities are in the certification process.
“When our company achieved three-star BAP certification last year, there was no hatchery standard available so it took a little more time to get to the four-star level,” said CEO Glenn Cooke.
“This was always our goal and our team is proud of this accomplishment. Each step of the journey – from the hatchery to the farm to the feed manufacture to the processing – is done in-house at Cooke-owned facilities so our people take extra pride knowing that it is their work and diligence that earned the BAP four stars.”
Cooke also said earning the BAP four-star certification is not like crossing a finish line.
“Certifications like the BAP are an excellent measure and learning tool. The entire process helps us identify areas for improvement. That never ends. Part of maintaining this certification is to keep improving and to continue delivering a great product with minimal environmental impact,” he said.
Cooke has long been a believer in the importance of farming standards and the role of third-party audits, first achieving third-party certification in 2008. In 2012, Cooke’s Chilean operations achieved BAP certification. In Spain, Cooke’s sea bass and sea bream company, Culmarex, holds several third-party certifications including Friend of the Sea and Ecologica, an organic standard. Cooke Aquaculture Scotland produces certified salmon including organic and Label Rouge.
Operated by its Kelly Cove Salmon Ltd. division, certified farming facilities are located in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Maine. The True North Salmon processing operations are located in St. George and Blacks Harbour, NB, Charlottetown, PEI, and Machiasport, Maine. The Northeast Nutrition feed mill is in Truro, Nova Scotia. Several Cooke hatcheries are already certified and the remainder will be certified in the coming weeks. The company’s processing operations are also certified to the British Retail Consortium (BRC) Global Standard for Food Safety.