Sustainable Shrimp Partnership launches first zero-antibiotic shrimp on the market

A pre-competitive coalition of Ecuadorian shrimp producers, the Sustainable Shrimp Partnership, offered their first batch of shrimp to the market. All SSP members are committed to farming shrimp which meet the SSP product qualifications of ASC certification; Zero use of antibiotics; Neutral environmental impact; and Full traceability.

The Sustainable Shrimp Partnership (SSP) has signed off its first batch of SSP-approved premium quality farmed shrimp. Working closely with ICONTEC, SSP has finalized its methodology for product verification, and is now offering premium farmed shrimp to the market. SSP’s high quality shrimp is Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certified, farmed without the use of antibiotics, has neutral impact on the environment, and fully traceable.

Building upon the ASC-certification process, SSP has been working with the expert technical standards organization – ICONTEC – to develop the verification processes behind the additional SSP commitments. Now finalized, the first batch of shrimp to complete this process has been approved, resulting in 1,000 tons of SSP-shrimp destined for stores and restaurants in the US, Europe and abroad this month, with more to follow.

There are 11 farms operating under SSP criterions, producing SSP approved shrimp:

  • Agromarina, Lebama and Salmos farms (Songa – Sociedad Nacional de Galápagos)
  • Chanduy and Pañamao farms (Santa Priscila)
  • Naturisa, Maricultura, Kamaclusa and Rio Nilo farms (Naturisa)
  • Cachugran farm (Omarsa)
  • Produmar farm (Produmar)

The goal of SSP is to accelerate the progress of the farmed shrimp sector to higher levels of sustainability. Currently the shrimp market is characterized by a race to the bottom, and a few producers want to change this into a race to the top.

IDH and SSP

IDH helps SSP achieve their mission by being a member of the SSP Advisory Board. Other members of the advisory board are WWF and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), a certification scheme which was co-founded by WWF and IDH.

IDH is supporting SSP by testing different traceability systems. We together aim to create a system that shows the journey of the shrimp from the farm through the value chain to the consumer.

IDH is also supporting farmers to achieve SSP through the establishment of an improvement program. The SSP currently consists of large-scale producers. However, small and medium-sized producers face hurdles to become compliant to the SSP criteria. The program helps those producers to comply with local regulations, obtain ASC certification, establish a health management plan, and meet the SSP criteria (zero antibiotics, traceability, water quality, ASC certification). From previous projects in Ecuador we learned that smaller producers need support to comply to criteria. We aim to increase partnerships among shrimp farmers that are closely connected, so that smaller farmers are supported by larger farmers that can share their lessons because they have already gone through the SSP process. IDH also supports farmers in creating a health management program at area level as to provide an alternative for using antibiotics.

This initiative has the potential to change the shrimp industry towards a market that values quality and sustainability.

You can read more on www.sustainableshrimppartnership.org.

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