Machala, Ecuador – At today’s AquaExpo in El Oro, the Sustainable Shrimp Partnership (SSP) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) presented the twenty two farms that participated in SSP Improvement Program and worked towards achieving the Aquaculture Stewardship Council standard requirements to demonstrate a higher environmental and social performance. SSP Improvement Program was co-financed by The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH), and WWF, SSP Advisory Board Members.
The improvement program begun by benchmarking farm performance against a number of environmental and social indicators in order to establish their current performance, identifying opportunities for improvements. The farmers were trained in environmental and legal requirements in Ecuador, good aquaculture practices and requirements for ASC certification; and received pre-audits throughout the program to determine the adoption of improvement recommendations.
As part of the Program, Biodivertisity and Social Impact Assessments for the twenty two farms were conducted, assestments required to obtain ASC standard.
“The objective of this Program was to improve the farms sustainability performance, make them more efficient and more competitive on international markets” said Pamela Nath, SSP Director. “Small farmers do not always have the resources to access training and comply the requirements that can lead them to obtain an international certification, through our program now they are ready to achieve it”.
“WWF Ecuador is very pleased to be part of this project that will promote participation and commitment from small-scale producers, a contribution for “conversion-free-shrimp production”, promoting healthy ecosystems and biodiversity conservation efforts, social development and efficient resources used in an activity that will keep performing and improving, and their achievements could become a reference for other food sectors who are willing to work in conservation goals“, commented Arturo González, Marine Conservation Senior Officer, WWF Ecuador.
“We are excited that the SSP has increased their capacity to provide services to small and medium enterprises. Apart from supporting farmers to reach certification, the SSP is also implementing a health management platform that will benefit the Ecuadorian industry as a whole, instead of large-scale companies only.” shared Lisa Van Wageningen, Program Officer Aquaculture, The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH).
“The National Chamber of Aquaculture congratulates SSP for executing this project successfully, which not only benefits small producers that can be certified with ASC, but also allowed the industry to be the first in the world to implement traceability control through the implementation of blockchain technology” commented José Antonio Camposano, Executive President of the National Aquaculture Chamber of Ecuador.
The Sustainable Shrimp Partnership (SSP) is a group of leading companies who are committed to transforming the future of shrimp aquaculture. Pioneered in Ecuador, members of the SSP are committed to achieving, and promoting, the highest quality products, produced to the highest social and environmental standards, through greater collaboration and transparency.