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We set the standard for seafood. If you see the ASC label on pack, you can be sure that your seafood was farmed with care.

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Join the most recognised certification programme as proof of your responsible farming practices to a global audience.

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ASC creates measurable positive change in global seafood farming.

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Join the most recognised certification programme and benefit from trading ASC certified seafood.

Our impact

ASC creates measurable, positive change in global seafood farming.

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In addition to accessing our global network of secure and flexible supply, ASC partners benefit from marketing their ASC certified seafood.

Human Right Issues in India’s Shrimp Industry

25 March 2024 

ASC’s certification scheme has an important role to play in driving improvement in social responsibility throughout the farmed seafood industry.
Social responsibility is a critical component of our robust Standards and ASC takes issues related to human rights extremely seriously. We will use all resources available to investigate the incidents reported and take action to avoid these unacceptable practices happening on ASC certified farms.

Social auditing

All of ASC’s species-specific standards contain criteria for the protection of the human rights of employees and those who live in communities surrounding farms and feed mills. Our social audit process is robust, with a comprehensive range of requirements to ensure a credible audit process.

Our transparent third-party certification is recognised as one of the most trusted assurance systems. According to this independent report by Human Rights at Sea, ASC rated highly among the assessed seafood schemes for social requirements. Assurance Services International (ASI), the ASC-appointed accreditation body provides another layer of oversight by monitoring the certifications bodies (CABs) that provide certification to farms.

CABS are constantly monitored on their social audit performance to ensure compliance against ASC standards. CABs can be suspended if they do not meet our standards, and this has happened on two occasions in India in the last year.

Social audits are one of many tools and are not meant to be used on their own. ASC is engaging in work on other projects to support our goals to protect human rights, including work on a living wage project, exploring means for worker empowerment and a project on Indigenous and community rights.

Under our standards, CABs must ensure 10% of audits are unannounced, with farms selected based on a risk assessment of performance and compliance against our standards. ASI undertakes a yearly evaluation to ensure the minimum number of unannounced audits have taken place on the most appropriate farms. Unannounced audits have a maximum of 48 hours’ notice to allow for logistical arrangements, such as complex travel plans to be put in place. Unannounced audit reports are made publicly available, in the same way as announced audit reports.

Our new Farm Standard, which will be out for final stakeholder consultation next month before becoming operational in 2025, will include elements that cover hatcheries and seedlings suppliers. Constant improvement is built into ASC’s certification programme and we will continue to develop our standards to include more robust processes to assess pre-grow out farms.

Antibiotic use

With regard to antibiotic use, treated shrimp are not eligible to be sold as ASC labelled product.

If we become aware that an ASC labelled (shrimp) product tests positive for antibiotics, a thorough investigation will be undertaken to try to determine where and how the product came into contact with the antibiotics.

If it is determined that antibiotics were used in contravention of the ASC Shrimp Standard, or that Chain of Custody or licensing requirements were breached, the farm or processor will face consequences, such as suspension from the ASC Programme or having their logo licence agreement revoked.

We are looking into the ASC certified companies mentioned in the report to ensure ongoing compliance against our Standards.

Confidental Infomation