September 21, 2016

GAA signs MoU to increase safety of farmed seafood



The Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Certification and Accreditation Administration of the People's Republic of China (CNCA), China Entry Exit Inspection and Quarantine Association (CIQA) and Seafood HACCP Alliance (SHA) at GAA's GOAL 2016 conference in Guangzhou, China, on September 20.


The four organisations agreed to establish the International Aquaculture Products Quality Safety and Certification Partnership Program. The programme, which aims to build trust for aquaculture products that require less regulatory attention and instill confidence in buyers, will drive aquaculture operations to meet major seafood markets' food safety requirements.


"The safety of our food has become a growing concern around the world, which has led to laws like the Food Safety Modernization Act being passed in the United States. I am excited for this partnership with CNCA, CIQA and SHA as it will focus not only on improving food safety practices of aquaculture products in China, but also around the world through our Best Aquaculture Practices Certification programme," said Steven Hart, GAA's vice president of education and outreach.


Leaders from CNCA and CIQA expressed their willingness to work with GAA and its BAP certification to both help Chinese aquaculture producers to be compliant with Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and also increase the impact of the BAP programme. The ultimate goal of this programme is to facilitate international seafood trade and help seafood producers from China and abroad to meet with the markets' requirements and consumers' needs around the world.


CNCA and GAA will work together to compare Chinese certification programmes, China HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) and China GAP (Good Agricultural Practices), and the Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification system to identify how the systems complement each other, and how they can improve in promoting this new, voluntary programme in international trade.


CIQA will partner with SHA, based in the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO), and GAA to develop and deliver food safety training courses to aquaculture companies throughout China. Training will focus on enhancing the quality of food safety controls established by this new partnership to help facilities meet regulatory and market requirements, both in China and internationally.


Dr. Steve Otwell, director for the Seafood HACCP Alliance said: "The agreement to include food safety education as part of this program is an essential part for the success of this historical partnership because the training provided will be designed to meet or exceed food safety requirements for international seafood trade."

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