Five tilapia farmers in China that supply product to Zhanjiang Guolian Aquatic Products Co. Ltd. and its subsidiary, Guangdong Gourmet Aquatic Products Co. Ltd., are expected to apply for Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification following a visit by Panchu Duraisamy, BAP’s country representative in India.

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While in China, Duraisamy worked with the farm director and quality assurance team on properly assessing and preparing farms for BAP certification.

He also discussed the benefits of BAP, the world’s most comprehensive third-party certification program, with standards encompassing environmental responsibility, social responsibility, food safety, animal health and welfare and traceability. In addition to farms, there are standards for seafood processing plants, hatcheries and feed mills.

Part of the purpose of the visit was to teach the staff at Zhanjiang Gourmet to be ambassadors for BAP, so they can relay the benefits of BAP along to other farmers that currently buy fry from a BAP-certified hatchery or feed from a BAP-certified feed mill operated the Zhanjiang Goulian.

“We are moving our entire tilapia supply chain under BAP certification in order that we can meet the increasing demand for four-star BAP tilapia from China. Our hatchery and feed mill have been certified for the last several years, and now we are increasing our farm certifications. The goal is to have more than 150 full container loads available in 2016 and at least 400 full container loads for 2017 of four-star BAP tilapia fillets,” said Jim Bugbee, VP of business development-global supply chain for Sunnyvale Seafood, the U.S. arm of Zhanjiang Guolian.

“Panchu’s visit was very important to our company reaching our goals by explaining the benefits of iBAP to our contracted farmers, our staff that is visiting the farms and checking raw material daily, and our hatchery team that provides millions of fry each year to farmers throughout southern China,” added Bugbee.