IFFO CORP for fishmeal and fish oil

Processing anchovies at the SIPESA fishmeal plant, Peru. Credit: NOAA/Teobaldo Dioses
Blue Whiting. Credit: Seafood Shetland

The Code will enable fishmeal and fish oil producers to show that they are offering traceable, high quality marine products which are manufactured safely using fish from responsibly managed fisheries.

CORP was announced at IFFO's recent members' meeting in Brussels and in mid-May the cross-industry Technical Advisory Committee, which will help to shape the Code, had its first meeting. Subject to final approval of the Code by the IFFO Board at its annual conference in October this year, producers should be able to enter the audit process early in 2009. The first certifications would then be announced later next year.

"Our membership's reputation for responsible practice is already high," said IFFO Director General, Jonathan Shepherd. "CORP is a further positive step which will define and bring together these high standards, and demonstrate them clearly and confidently to our direct customers and the whole value chain."

Compliance will be third-party audited in conjunction with established audits for existing quality systems - such as HACCP, FEMAS, PDV and GMP to ensure food safety. A company wishing to qualify for CORP accreditation will need to show that its facilities are managed to avoid the possibility of accidental or deliberate contamination of the products. Raw material sourcing must take place in a country which complies with the key elements of the FAO Code of Responsible Fishing and the manufacturing company will also need to demonstrate that their source fisheries fully comply with all national laws on capture - for example correct fishing gear, quotas and seasonal closures.

"We will continue to work towards CORP with support and encouragement from stakeholders and the value chain, including feed manufacturers, the aquaculture sector and food processors and retailers," said Mr Shepherd. All of these are represented, along with producers, on the Technical Advisory Committee, led by Dr Andrew Jackson, IFFO Technical Director.

"IFFO particularly appreciates the financial support and retail perspectives offered in the development of CORP which we have received from Tesco Stores Ltd," he said. "We are also pleased that the Marine Conservation Society has agreed to have a representative on the committee," said Mr Shepherd.

"We are expecting a very positive response from our Members, who represent about two-thirds of world production," said IFFO President and producer, Nils Christian Jensen of Denmark. "We see CORP as an opportunity to demonstrate that we are a modern, professional industry supplying key strategic feed ingredients to the expanding aquaculture sector as well as traditional land animal markets and the rapidly growing market for healthy omega-3 oil for direct human consumption."

"Already most IFFO Member-produced fishmeal and fish oil comes from facilities that are covered by established quality control systems and come from managed fisheries where efforts are made to exclude illegal, unregulated and unreported fish. CORP will enable IFFO's producer members to differentiate their products from those produced in facilities without the necessary control measures."

"To sum up, CORP is a key element of IFFO's programme of continuous business improvement, specifically a business-to-business tool to further demonstrate our Corporate Responsibility for the benefit of the value chain. It is not another eco-label in competition with existing eco-labels - although members could still use such labels to further differentiate their products - but it is an important step in the journey towards global sustainable fisheries," said Mr Jensen.

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