First German Trout Farm to Achieve ASC Certification Recognised at Fish International in Bremen
February 15, 2016
Heidefisch farm has become the first trout farm in Germany to achieve Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification against the ASC Freshwater Trout Standard.
The farm, owned by the Winkelmann family, achieved certification after an on-site assessment by independent auditors Bureau Veritas the days leading up to Germany’s biggest seafood trade show, Fish International in Bremen. Mr. Winkelmann met with the ASC at the show where the milestone was celebrated with a picture ceremony.
“The ASC would like to congratulate Heidefisch on this achievement,” said Barbara Janker, ASC’s Commercial Marketing Manger for Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Scandanavia. “The fact that local farms are choosing the ASC standard as their certification of choice, and proof of their responsible operation, says a lot about the credibility of the programme.”
According to Stephan Winkelmann, General Manager of Heidefisch, “We decided on the ASC standard since we sensed the customers’ and market’s appetite for it. Our facilities are state-of-the-art which helped us to stay within the ASC’s requirements when it comes to phosphorus discharge for example. Nevertheless, analysing our production data in detail in the course of the certification gave us a lot of insight into our operations and where we can even improve further in the future.”
Heidefisch is an integrated farm, which nurtures fish from fingerlings to harvest and processing. The facility produces approximately 600 tonnes of freshwater trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and 55 tonnes of caviar per year. The trout and caviar are both sold in Germany and neighbouring countries through fish wholesalers.
With 59 ASC licence holders, more than any other country in the world, Germany is the biggest market for the ASC programme. Currently, there are a total of 112 ASC certified trout products available on the market worldwide, with 25 trout products sold in the German market. German consumers understand that products bearing the ASC logo have achieved certification against a stringent standard for environmental responsibility and good social practices.
Recently, the number of farms receiving certification throughout Europe has grown significantly and the ASC anticipates this trend will continue in 2016 and beyond. Including Heidefisch, there are now 16 ASC-certified trout farms in Italy, Denmark, Greece and Germany, with a certified production volume of around 6,700 tonnes. Six additional farms are currently in assessment in Denmark, Greece, Italy and Turkey.