GLOBAL - Marine Harvest, the world's largest aquaculture company, has pledged to have all its farms Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certified by 2020. A total of 43 of the company's around 250 farms have already been certified and several are in process of gaining their certification.
Employing around 12,400 staff in 24 countries, Marine Harvest is the market leader in salmon aquaculture. One in five farmed Atlantic salmon served across the world is a Marine Harvest salmon.
The company already supplies significant volumes of ASC certified salmon to customers around the world, and demand is growing.
"Having all our farms fully certified is an extensive and demanding undertaking that will give a significant boost to sustainable aquaculture moving forward. One of our shared goals is to produce more seafood for a growing global population, while at the same time minimising our environmental footprint," said Marine Harvest CEO Alf-Helge Aarskog.
"We are experiencing significant demand for ASC certified salmon from our customers. Naturally we are delighted to see customers and consumers valuing our commitment to sustainability".
In the beginning of 2014, Marine Harvest received its first ASC certifications against the salmon standard for two of its farms in Norway, Tarmvikodden Farm and Buksevika Farm. The producer also had the honour to have the first ASC certified salmon farm in North America when its Marine Harvest Canada Marsh Bay Farm in British Colombia achieved certification in early 2015. In addition to Canada and Norway, Marine Harvest also has ASC certified farms in Chile, Ireland and Scotland.
"We are proud to be ASC certified. While this has been a lengthy and extensive process, our overriding aim is to supply our customers with the best possible product. To be able to do this we need to satisfy the most stringent of requirements," said Erling Haavik, Operations Manager at Marine Harvest's Grøttingsøya, one of Marine Harvest's ASC certified salmon farms in Norway.
Transforming aquaculture through the Blue Revolution
In 2013, Marine Harvest defined ''Leading the Blue Revolution'' as their vision, which is both an ambition and a promise. Through significant investment in research and development, Marine Harvest is at the forefront of technological advances and is transforming aquaculture industry practices, which they call the Blue Revolution.
"Our vision is to lead the Blue Revolution. We want to play a part in solving one of the greatest challenges of our time, producing enough healthy and tasty food to feed the world's growing population. To meet this demand, we need to expand our production in a smart way. Our operations and long-term profitability ultimately depend on sustainable and environmentally responsible interactions with the natural environment," said Mr Aarskog.
As more than 70 per cent of the globe is covered with water, but only 2 per cent of the world's food supply comes from the ocean, Marine Harvest believes it has to change in the future to be able to produce more protein in an energy efficient and environmentally responsible manner. Aquaculture has the potential to do that, which is the reason Marine Harvest says ''blue is the new green.''
Marine Harvest is also a strong supporter of aquaculture certification and the ASC programme. During the Seafood Expo Global 2016 in Brussels, Marine Harvest was the first ASC partner to use the elements from the newly launched ASC Marketing Toolkit.
At the official unveiling at the Marine Harvest stand, Ola Brattvoll, COO Sales and Marketing of Marine Harvest, expressed his delight at being the first ASC partner to utilise the toolkit.
"This once more underlines our vision of leading the Blue Revolution and our commitment to responsible aquaculture. The world has a need for safe, healthy and tasty food, produced in a responsible and efficient way, and seafood has the potential to do this. The aquaculture industry needs robust and credible standards such as ASC's to be able to address the biological and environmental challenges it is facing, and to secure future growth," said Brattvoll.
TheFishSite News Desk