Thailand has identified the need to establish responsible fishmeal production following concerns by consumers, NGO’s and media, prompting the creation of a panel to identify fishmeal plants that should go for assessment for the Marine Ingredients Organisation (IFFO) Responsible Supply (RS) certification.
The Thai Department of Fisheries hosted the meeting with the Thai Feedmill Association, the Thai Fishmeal Association and IFFO in attendance.
The need was recognised to demonstrate responsible fishmeal production following concerns raised by customers, NGO’s and media over unsustainable fishing in the region and the sustainability of raw material entering fishmeal production. Having presented the IFFO RS certification scheme to the meeting, it was agreed certification would demonstrate the use of responsibly-sourced raw materials and good factory management, including full traceability and exclusion of Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) fish. A further panel meeting is being planned for July.
Nearly 60% or 180,000 tonnes of the fishmeal produced in Thailand is derived from the recycled trimmings of seafood processing. The first phase of certifications will focus on fishmeal produced from trimmings with a second phase covering whole fish raw material planned once guidance on tropical mixed trawl fisheries, currently in development, is available.
To enter assessment for the IFFO RS standard, companies must apply for IFFO membership.
Charoen Pokhpand Foods (CPF) Ltd, a major producer of feed in South East Asia and China and a key stakeholder in the Thai panel, has already decided to join IFFO with a view to entering one or more of its plants for certification.