ASC launches new "Improver Programme" to help fill a gap
The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) this week launched a program to help producers not yet ready for certification to improve their practices and mitigate environmental and social impacts.
The ASC Improver Programme (AIP) will help fill a gap, said Roy van Daatselaar, a producer support manager at ASC.
It will be open both to producers that want to obtain certification and those that simply want help to improve farming practices without certification as an immediate goal. It will also allow collaboration with groups of producers, and local governments, to implement improvements on a larger scale.
``The aquaculture industry includes a significant amount of small-scale farms, particularly in Asia, and providing guidance to these producers on how to improve practices will play an important role in the ASC`s mission to raise the overall standards of aquaculture worldwide,`` van Daatselaar said in a press release.
ASC said it has been collaborating in particular with the Vietnamese government and World Wildlife Fund Vietnam to produce a benchmark between VietGAP, the local Vietnamese certification, and the ASC standards for shrimp and tilapia. As many as 85% of the shrimp produced in Vietnam is from small farms.