MT. Cook Alpine Salmon becomes first Aquaculture facility in Australasia to achieve GAA BAP Certification
The Right Honourable J.B.Bolger ONZ, Chairman of Mt. Cook Alpine Salmon Limited announced today that Mt. Cook Alpine Salmonʼs farming operation in the Mackenzie Basin, is the first aquaculture facility in Australasia to receive Best Aquaculture Practice (BAP) certification for sustainable farming from the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA).
“Not only is this a tremendous achievement for Mt. Cook Alpine Salmon, but it is also a significant moment for New Zealand Aquaculture in general,” says Mr Bolger.
The Global Aquaculture Alliance is the leading international organisation dedicated to advancing environmentally and socially responsible aquaculture and a safe supply of seafood to meet growing world food needs.
Organised in 1997, the non-profit NGO developed the Best Aquaculture Practices certification standards and encourages the use of responsible aquaculture practices by coordinating the development of Best Aquaculture Practices certification standards for hatcheries, farms, processing facilities and feed mills.
Mr Bolger says the Global Aquaculture Alliance is one of the first organisations to realise and then propose the need for standards for the aquaculture industry. “The current Best Aquaculture Practice standards have developed over a period of years, and are employed by the global industry.”
Mr Bolger, who is also the Chairman of the International Board of the World Agricultural Forum, says that obtaining certification will open up significant new markets for Mt. Cook Alpine Salmon. “The world is quickly moving towards sustainable farming and processing practices, and most of the key retailers in the United States now have a requirement for certification.”
To achieve GAA BAP Certification, independent auditors from the Ireland based Global Trust, travelled to Twizel to audit the procedures, practices and operating manuals of Mt Cook Alpine Salmonʼs farming operations. The Global Trust delivers ISO accredited certification for a variety of seafood programs now spanning across 23 countries, and remains independent of these sometimes competitive programs.
Peter Marshall, CEO of Global Trust Certification says, “We would like to congratulate Mt. Cook Alpine Salmon on achieving their BAP Certification; the company demonstrated a high standard of aquaculture management and is confirmed to be a market and standards leader”.
Aquaculture New Zealand CEO Gary Hooper, says the New Zealand aquaculture industryʼs 40 years of responsible environmental management sees New Zealandʼs premium farmed seafood in demand all over the world.
“Moving forward, it will be essential for producers to demonstrate their commitment to sustainable practices in international markets. Independent certification is a powerful means of communicating your green credentials directly with the customer, and we applaud Mt. Cook Alpine Salmonʼs initiative in gaining Global Aquaculture Allianceʼs[page1image24688]recognition of their world class standards,” Gary Hooper says.
Peter Redmond, Vice President Market Development for the GAA, says the Global Aquaculture Alliance is proud to include Mt. Cook to the growing number of certified salmon producers.
“Mt. Cook Alpine Salmon is a truly world class operation with a staff that is dedicated to doing the right thing in a sustainable way with passion for their work and highly motivated to be the best at what they do. Our hope is that achieving BAP (Best Aquaculture Practice) certification will further endorse what was already a very environmentally friendly operation, and help drive their growth in to the future,” Mr Redmond says.
Jeff Sedacca, President of Shrimp & Aquaculture Division of National Fish and Seafood, which is Mt. Cook Alpine Salmonʼs key world-wide distributor, says that being the first facility in Australasia to achieve BAP Certification demonstrates Mt. Cook Alpine Salmonʼs commitment to industry leadership and sustainability.
“Mt Cook Alpine Salmon is the jewel in the crown of sustainable aquaculture worldwide”, he says. “The quality of the salmon, and the ability to be able to drink the water after it passes through the farm, truly sets Mt. Cook Alpine Salmon apart from any other aquaculture operations in the world.”
Mt. Cook Alpine Salmon has won a number of prestigious awards including the Supreme Winner of the NZ Food Awards in 2011, and this year, was recognised locally by winning the South Canterbury Business Awards Sustainability Award, as well as the Supreme Award.