ASC holds first summit in Europe, linking key retailers to Turkish bass and bream producers
September 27, 2023
After three previously successful summits outside of Europe focusing on shrimp and salmon, ASC for the first time hosted a buyer summit for their certified seabass and seabream in Turkey, Europe.
ASC certified seabass and seabream producers had the opportunity to showcase their responsible farming practices to retail companies from the US, Spain, Portugal and the UK – markets with key demand for these Mediterranean species.
From September 11 to 14, representatives from Morrisons, Tesco, Mercadona, La Sirena, Giant Eagle and El Continente enjoyed a full programme in the Bodrum area of Turkey, getting detailed insights into the farming operations of ASC certified producers.
Activities included visiting farm sites and feed barges, observing the harvest using latest electric stunning techniques, and touring grading and processing facilities, ensuring buyers that the fish is raised to the highest environmental, welfare and social standards.
Maria Sapiña Escrivá, Environmental Manager at Mercadona (Spain), stated: “From Mercadona we signed up for the summit to better understand how the criteria of the ASC standards play out in a country like Turkey. The continuous improvement to which we aspire to led us to get to know the reality of the sector at its origin and doing so with the help of ASC and the rest of the retailers helps us see where to direct our future strategies”.
Ben Lambden, Sustainable Aquaculture & Fisheries Manager at Tesco (UK): “I joined the summit to see ASC standards in action in the supply chain and gain further understanding of how suppliers interact with these requirements. The trip was brilliant and really showcased the Turkish Bass and Bream industry and the improvements they have made on their ASC journey. I’m keen to further understand future revisions to the standard that will include feed and welfare elements.”
Marcos Moya, Global Outreach Lead at ASC, said “We are delighted to see the continued interest in our summits, and the added value that they bring to both buyers and farmers. We are excited about the new opportunities that this summit has created and look forward to supporting these new relationships”.
The ASC standard for seabass, seabream and meagre was added to the suite of ASC standards at the end of 2018, with Sürsan in Turkey and Nireus (now Avramar) in Greece becoming the first ASC certified farms for these species in June 2019. Now, four years later, there are almost 200 farm sites spread over Spain, Greece, Albania, Croatia and Turkey that are constantly improving their practices and comply with the strict ASC standard.