LIKE SEAFOOD AS MUCH AS I DO? CHECK OUT BAP-CERTIFIED SEAFOOD
by Andrew Chalk
BAP (Best Aquaculture Practices) certification was created by the Global Seafood Alliance as one of the most comprehensive certification systems for aquaculture. It assesses aquaculture facilities by addressing environmental and social responsibility, animal welfare, food safety, and traceability. Specifically:
The BAP program requires an annual audit conducted by a third-party certification body
BAP has a program integrity team that ensures that producers, auditors and certification bodies are in compliance with the program requirements
In order to attain certification, producers must meet the requirements of the standard and address any non-conformities beforehand
BAP has a logo policing program to ensure that those producers that are using the BAP logo are using it properly (this is done at the retail level)
I obtained a sample of BAP-certified fish from Secret Island, a salmon specialist (review forthcoming in a few weeks), and did my own check on the manufacturer. Using the certification number on the package (in much too small type) I went to the BAP web site and searched for it. Sure enough, it is there with four stars (out of a maximum of four) from its certification audit (see site for details).
One suggestion to BAP. Add a QR code to the package that would take the consumer directly to the producer rating. This specific link is much easier than navigating a website that serves dozens of purposes.
Survey evidence indicates that consumers are more concerned than in the past with the quality and authenticity of their food. The BAP certification provides them with a visible logo on the packaging that a product complies with a specific set of standards.