Submitted by: Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC)
Posted: Aug 20, 2014 – 07:00 AM EST
UTRECHT, Aug. 20 /CSRwire/ - Seafood consumers in the United States (US) can now enjoy responsibly farmed tilapia that has been certified to the ASC standard for responsible aquaculture.
Tai Foong USA is the first company in the US to source and sell ASC certified tilapia under its Northern Chef brand. Its Northern Chef Tilapia Fillets 10 oz product have been on sale since mid-May this year across the country in Sprouts Farmers Market, Ingles Markets, Tops Friendly Markets, Lucky's Markets, Nugget Markets, Fresh Thyme Farmers Markets, and through the Harvest Meat Company. Tai Foong USA expects to distribute to an additional 5,000 stores this year alone.
Davy Lam, President Tai Foong USA, said that the ASC certified tilapia has become the number one seller in the Northern Chef fin fish line of products due its high quality, clean taste and responsibly farmed attributes. “We are thrilled to be able to offer our customers responsibly farmed tilapia,” Lam said. “The ASC logo on the pack ensures that the fish has been certified against the most robust standard in the market. Tai Foong is committed to promoting environmental and social responsibility. The ASC program supports our responsible sourcing policy and provides our customers with a greater choice. Therefore, we also plan to offer ASC certified shrimp in the US market once it is available.”
“I am delighted that the first product with the on-pack ASC logo is now available in the United States,” said Chris Ninnes, ASC’s CEO. “Thanks to Tai Foong’s commitment and vision to provide US consumers with responsibly farmed Tilapia, consumers are in turn rewarding the commitment of the farms through their seafood purchases.”
“It is encouraging to see new countries enter the ASC program. The US is a leading global market so this marks a major milestone for the ASC. I look forward to more US companies sourcing ASC certified products and the ASC program expanding further in this important market in the years to come.”
Helping consumers make responsible choices
The on-pack ASC logo helps consumers make an informed choice when shopping for seafood. Products carrying the logo reassure customers that the fish is sourced from a farm that minimizes its environmental and social impact.
When shoppers buy ASC labelled products the certified farms receive the market recognition they deserve. Farms must meet the strict requirements set out in the ASC standards showing that they are well managed, use responsible farming methods and are socially responsible.
As a result, ASC certified farms deliver a cleaner seabed, cleaner water and healthier fish. They can also demonstrate that they are preserving the diversity of the species and wild population, adhering to strict feed requirements and ensuring social responsibility.
Companies in the supply chain that wish to sell their products as ASC certified must pass a rigorous Chain of Custody third party audit by an independent accredited certifier. The companies must demonstrate that they have solid traceability systems in place to guarantee that no product mixing or substitution can occur.
Certified companies are subject to annual surveillance audits, unannounced audits and product trace backs.
Tai Foong USA
Tai Foong USA, Inc. offers all natural seafood and Asian cuisine products to retail and foodservice operators. Tai Foong USA, Inc is a leading importer and distributor of seafood and other food items. Founded in 1958, Tai Foong USA, Inc is a private family-owned business based in Seattle, Washington. You will find their brands (Royal Asia and Northern Chef) on grocery store shelves across North America. Tai Foong USA, Inc is committed to supplying their customers with the finest, highest quality food products in the world.
About the ASC
The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) is an independent, not-for-profit organization co- founded by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) in 2010 to manage the certification of responsible fish farming across the globe.
The ASC standards require farm performance to be measured against both environmental and social requirements.
Certification is through an independent third party process and (draft) reports are uploaded to the public ASC website.
The on-pack ASC logo guarantees to consumers that the fish they purchase has been farmed with minimal impacts on the environment and on society.
For more information about ASC please visit www.asc-aqua.org.