SSPs secret ingredient to improving the sustainability performance of farmed shrimp
Launch of SSP improvers program to help small and mid-sized farms work towards SSP
Guayaquil, Ecuador: October 16th, 2018: At AquaExpo in Guayaquil, the Sustainable Shrimp Partnership (SSP) announced their farm improvement program alongside IDH The Sustainable Trade Initiative, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC). The improvers program aims to help small and mid-sized farms work towards achieving the SSP product criteria of ASC-certification, zero use of antibiotics, neutral impact on local ecosystems and full traceability.
“One of the four elements of the SSP philosophy is inclusion,” said Jose Antonio Camposano, Executive President of the National Chamber of Aquaculture in Ecuador. “We believe inclusion is critical to our success because if we only work with a small number of farms we will not see a significant change or have a significant impact on the wider industry. Through this program we will provide small and mid-sized farms with access to the SSP technical knowledge and capacity to help them work towards the highest levels of environmental and social standards pioneered by the SSP.”
SSP will be working with IDH Sustainable Trade Initiative, WWF, and the ASC to engage more farms across Ecuador working towards the SSP program. The improvement program will begin by benchmarking farm performance against a number of environmental and social indicators in order to establish their current performance, and then a fish health and farm management improvement program will be implemented.
“What we see through the SSP is a drive to lift the whole industry” said Flavio Corsin, Aquaculture Director for IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative. “Through the improvement program we will be able to collect data from a large number of farms as to allow the industry to identify potential challenges and practices to address those challenges, both within farms and within the wider landscape. The program will not only improve a farm’s sustainability performance, but by improving fish health management practices will also make them more efficient, more cost-effective and more attractive for investors”
Aaron McNevin, Aquaculture Lead for WWF added, “It is important to have leadership initiatives such as SSP, but if they only work with a small number of farms their impact is limited. The SSP Improvers Program has the potential to touch a much larger segment of the shrimp farming sector which is ambitious but necessary.”
SSP will be working with the project partners – IDH, WWF and ASC to engage farms over the coming months and see the first farms enter the program before the end of the year.
“This is an exciting time for SSP. This time last year we just had only our vision, but now we have an action plan and projects in place,” added Camposano. “We know that consumers want high-quality products produced to the highest standards and without the use of antibiotics; and we see it as part of SSP’s leadership role to get the race to the top started here in Ecuador.”