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Successful Seafood Expo for ASC with packed ‘Feed Responsibly’ panel event and busy booth. This year’s Seafood Expo in Barcelona was a huge success for Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) with hundreds of seafood lovers, experts, retailers, buyers, processors and other enthusiasts welcomed to the distinctive branded booth during the three-day event, which brought together more than 35,000 seafood professionals.

ASC’s panel event, which focused on the importance of responsibly produced aquafeed, drew a crowd of 120 to hear from the expert panel.

With the theme ‘Feed Responsibly: Why Responsible Aquaculture Needs Responsible Feed’, key industry players shared how they are adopting the ASC Feed Standard to drive transparency, social and environmental improvements in feed supply chains.

ASC’s Feed Standard Senior Coordinator Alexandra Warrington said:

“We are overwhelmed by the support and positive feedback of the industry towards responsible feed. Responsible aquaculture requires responsible feed, and we need all players across the supply chain to do their part in achieving more environmentally and socially responsible practices.”

The expert panel included Skretting’s Global Sustainability Manager, Jorge Diaz, Thai Union’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Adam Brennan and New England Seafood’s Head of Sustainability, Ruth Hoban. Attendees heard their thoughts on the Feed Standard and their journey through the process.

On why Skretting became certified, Global Sustainability Manager Jorge Diaz said:

“Skretting decided to become certified because we believe it is the right thing to do. Since undergoing the certification process, we now have better traceability, a better understanding of what is in feed and the risks associated with these ingredients. The journey doesn’t end once feed mills are certified – the movement to more responsible feed needs to be driven by the market and it must be a value chain approach.”

Speaking about why they chose the ASC Feed Standard, Adam Brennan, Thai Union’s Chief Sustainability Officer said:

Thai Union constantly strives to reshape the seafood industry with solutions across people and planet that better sustain a future for all. The ASC Feed Standard helps us de-risk our supply chains, aids answering questions from retailers, mitigates our impacts and provides commercial opportunities. We chose ASC because it is the only standard that tackles deforestation and land conversion of all crops in feed, not just soy and palm oil.”

New England Seafood’s Head of Sustainability Ruth Hoban said:

“There is a growing interest in aquaculture from a retail perspective – the importance of farmed fish is now widely recognised. Particularly from UK retailers, there is an emerging market demand for farmed fish that have been fed responsibly. New England Seafood, just like other processors, has a key role to play in understanding the ASC Feed Standard and building awareness of its requirements with our partners.”

Inspired by the positive uptake and continuous support from various stakeholders across the aquaculture supply chain, ASC’s Feed Standard Senior Coordinator Alexandra Warrington concluded that “Feed is fun” and that responsible feed can drive positive impacts on people and planet through shared commitment and collaboration.

Alexandra concluded:

“Feed is fun (no, really it is!) as it is such an interesting and challenging sector with enormous impact. Collaboration amongst stakeholders and across the supply chain is essential to ensure this impact is positive.”

With more feed companies currently in the audit process, the spread of more environmentally and socially responsible feed production continues to grow globally.

ASC certified farms have until October 2025 to switch to sourcing compliant feed produced under the ASC Feed Standard. Feed mills that get certified in 2024 will not have to pay licence fees on the volume of compliant feed they produce this calendar year.