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ASC Feed Standard: Consultation on important supporting documents begins

August 31, 2021

The ASC is consulting the public on important documents that will accompany the recently published ASC Feed Standard.

This standard will provide unprecedented assurances to consumers that the feed used on ASC certified farms is responsibly sourced – whether it includes marine or land-based ingredients. Two important supporting documents have now been published, which will provide a framework for feed mills and Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs), the independent bodies that carry out audits.

It is one of two public consultations to be launched today (Wednesday 1 September). ASC is also consulting the public on new requirements to improve the welfare of farmed fish, covering issues like stocking density and slaughter.

Both consultations will run for sixty days. They are open to all members of the public by visiting the ASC website, reading the summaries and completing short online surveys. You can view more information and access the consultation on the Feed CAR/RUoC page. The welfare consultation can be found on the Fish Welfare Project page.

New Feed Standard documents

Two new draft documents have been published to accompany the Feed Standard: the Certification and Accreditation Requirements (CAR) and the Requirements for Unit of Certification (RUoC). While the standard itself sets out the exact indicators that must be met for a mill to produce responsibly sourced feed, the CAR details the requirements a certification body needs to follow in order to conduct audits and certify against the ASC feed standard. The RUoC is aimed at the organisations seeking certification, which in the case of the Feed Standard will be feed mills. It details the requirements the feed mill will need to take in order to enter and undergo the audit and certification process for the ASC feed standard.

ASC’s farm standards have the same assurance documents, and the draft RUoC and CAR for the Feed Standard have been produced with the same structure, and wherever possible contain the same requirements, only diverging where necessary. This ensures consistency and helps Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs) that audit against standards, and other stakeholders working with multiple ASC standards.

New elements for the Feed Standard include requirements for due diligence on ingredient suppliers, and two models for accounting for ingredients, known as mass balance and segregation. The CAR and RUoC will provide requirements for the implementation of all of these new additions to ensure the Standard can be applied fairly, consistently and effectively.

Jennifer Glancy, ASC Programme Assurance Manager, said: “Our standards are at the heart of what we do at ASC, but the supporting documents provide vital instruction on how the audit process should be conducted from initial application through to certification.

“These documents are therefore vitally important to the effective functioning of ASC as we work to improve the responsible production of feed ingredients. We want to make sure they are as effective as possible so we’re urging stakeholders to help us by providing their expertise and experience.”

Next steps

Responses to both consultations will be used to refine the draft documents. The first phase of the welfare requirements will be finalised with the intention to include them in the upcoming ASC Farm Standard, which will bring together all certified species into one standard. The second phase will be worked on by ASC staff and the Technical Working Group with an aim to publish more documents for public consultation in 2022. The CAR and RUoC will be finalised for approval from ASC’s governance bodies with the aim to release them early in 2022. The documents will go live towards the end of 2022, giving stakeholders time to familiarise themselves with the requirements and train staff.


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