ASC: Alignment Farm Standard
Alignment is an important milestone in delivering ASC’s mission to help transform the industry towards more sustainable and responsible aquaculture.
Standard in development – ASC Farm Standard
Stakeholder consultation open from September 1 to October 30
We have launched a stakeholder consultation on three key areas: Cleaner Fish Health and Welfare, Shrimp Health and Welfare, and Living Wage indicators. We are also seeking feedback on the Terms of Reference (TOR) of the Species Extension Project: Catfish, and the inclusion of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) in the ASC Farm Standard.
To learn more and participate, go to the end of this page to find all relevant documents.
You can also provide your input by attending one of our live feedback workshops:
- Shrimp Health and Welfare: Public Consultation Workshops
- Cleaner Fish: Public Consultation Workshops
- Living Wage: Public Consultation Workshops
- Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC): Public Consultation Workshops
The alignment process will create a single farm-level standard which provides greater consistency and harmonises requirements across all farmed seafood species currently targeted by ASC.
Currently, ASC manages a number of separate farm standards covering different species. Each provides industry-leading, robust environmental and social requirements, but because they have been developed at different times their requirements vary on some of the impacts that are common across aquaculture.
The aligned Farm Standard will cover all impact areas in one rigorous standard, and will include species-specific requirements where relevant. Alignment will also allow ASC to more efficiently expand its reach (e.g. adding production systems or new species) and will facilitate the swifter update of specific metrics.
The ASC Farm Standard
Linked to the ASC Vision, the ASC Farm Standard addresses the key negative environmental and social impacts associated with the aquaculture industry. An ASC certified farm contributes to the ASC Vision by reducing, mitigating or eliminating such negative impacts.
The current ASC species Standards contain 7 Principles; the ASC Farm Standard will have 3 Principles setting effective and credible requirements. The ASC Farm Standard will include production-system specific criteria (where applicable) and species-specific metrics (where applicable). Several new elements will be included under Farm Standard, including fish welfare and living wage requirements.
- Principle 1 (P1): The UoC operates legally and applies effective business management.
- Principle 2 (P2): The UoC operates in an environmentally responsible manner.
- Principle 3 (P3): The UoC operates in a socially responsible manner.
Several rounds of public consultation have been undertaken during the development of the ASC Farm Standard. A final consultation period, covering the full Farm Standard will take place in September, 2023. In addition, pilot audits on a representative sample of species and production systems were conducted during Spring 2023.
Contact person: Michiel Fransen
Consultation best practice
ASC is the only aquaculture certification scheme to be ISEAL Code Compliant. ISEAL is a global membership association for credible sustainability standards whose members meet internationally accepted best practices.
ASC’s public consultations follow ISEAL’s Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards, which stipulates that stakeholders have sufficient time and opportunity to provide input on the standard and can see how their input has been taken into account.
The ASC Farm Standard will capture evolving best social and environmental aquaculture practices and be streamlined to ensure consistent auditing is possible. Feedback from all consultations and pilots undertaken to date is being used to adapt the proposals. After all feedback has been collated and considered, a final public consultation on the complete proposed Standard will take place in September 2023. The ASC Farm Standard is scheduled for release in 2024 and targeted to become operational in 2025.
- Principle 1
- Principle 2
- Principle 3
- ASC launches Stakeholder Consultation on important criteria in the upcoming ASC Farm Standard
[Page last updated on 01.09.2023]
1 September – October 31 2023
Public Consultation VIII
- Shrimp Health and Welfare – Draft Indicators (ES, JP, VI, TH)
- Shrimp Health & Welfare – Slides (ES, JP, VI, TH)
- FAQ Shrimp Health and Welfare
- Consultation Questions (ES, JP, VI, TH)
- Living Wage – Draft Indicators (ES, FR, VI)
- Living Wage – Slides (ES, FR, VI)
- Living Wage – Benchmarks
- FAQ Living Wage
- Consultation questions (ES, FR, VI)
1 March – 30 April 2023
Public Consultation VII
Farm Standard Criterion 2.7 – Water Quality
Criterion 2.7 – Water Quality – Revised Criterion Draft
Farm Standard Criterion 2.14 Fish Health and Welfare
2.14c – Slaughter Audit Mechanism Requirement
2.14x – Eyestalk Ablation Indicator
1 September – 31 October 2022
Public Consultation VI
The French, German, Portuguese and Turkish versions do not include the questions on Criterion 2.6 – Benthic Impacts.
1 September – 31 October 2021
Public Consultation IV (Fish Welfare Project)