MOWI Scotland is celebrating the news that it has become the first aquaculture company in the world to achieve Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification for freshwater lochs.
The honour has gone to Loch Lochy and Glenfinnan and follows on from the ASC’s revised trout standard. This is a significant milestone towards the company’s stated ambition to strive towards 100 per cent ASC certification by 2025. Rory Campbell, technical manager said:
‘This is a significant milestone for our business. Loch Lochy and Glenfinnan are both freshwater loch farms that, along with our recirculating aquaculture facilities, provide for a vital part of our salmon’s lifecycle before entering the sea. Both sites are the first freshwater farms in the world to be audited against a revised ASC Trout Standard that now recognises the production of salmon smolts in freshwater lochs. By achieving ASC certification at these freshwater loch sites it now allows us to have a pipeline of ASC certified smolts for our seawater sites and enables us now to push on with our plan to achieve ASC certification across our business.’
Samuel Clegg, certification manager, describes the process:
‘The audits were carried out in February. Two auditors spent two days auditing each farm. One auditor was really focused on technical information and the other auditor looked into personnel issues such as health and safety, human resources and payroll. As part of the audit process, many of our farm technicians at site were interviewed along with our fish health professionals who care for the fish at these sites. The whole process is deeply involving for all those involved with the standard covering a multitude of different technical, social and environmental areas.
He added: ““There are hundreds of criteria within the Trout Standard and you have to pass every single one in order to get accreditation. It really does take the whole team to achieve this standard, the auditors look at every aspect of our business including our relationships with stakeholders local to the farms.’
Loch Lochy and Glenfinnan will hold this standard for a year when both will need to be audited again as part of the yearly ASC surveillance audit process. The rest of 2020 will see many more audits by the ASC as Mowi strives to achieve 100 per cent accreditation for all its farms.