In light of a recent exposé claiming that 30% of shrimp in the U.S. marketplace is mislabeled, the Global Aquaculture Alliance is reiterating its commitment to traceability through its Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) third-party certification program.
All products, including shrimp, from BAP-certified processing plants and repacking plants are labeled properly according to species and country of origin, which is fully verified during an annual third-party audit.
For products to be labeled as BAP, they must remain in their original packaging from the processing plant. Once product is removed from the packaging, it is no longer able to carry the BAP label. For retailers and foodservice operators this provides assurance that shrimp in its original packaging from a BAP-certified processing plant and/or repacking plant has not been mixed and repackaged at the processing level.
BAP is the only third-party aquaculture certification scheme with a comprehensive program that addresses the entire production chain, including hatchery, feed mill, farm and processing. At each facility, it also addresses the full range of issues, including environmental responsibility, social welfare, food safety, animal health and traceability.
The mislabeling concerns were published by the U.S.-based advocacy group Oceana on Oct. 30. Their report claimed through DNA testing that 30% of the 143 shrimp products tested from 111 restaurants and supermarkets nationwide were misrepresented. The Washington Post was among the media outlets that followed up on the report.
Best Aquaculture Practices is an international certification program based on achievable, science-based and continuously improved global performance standards for the entire aquaculture supply chain – farms, hatcheries, processing plants and feed mills – that assure healthful foods produced through environmentally and socially responsible means.