The Kingfish Company with its Kingfish Zeeland facility based in the Netherlands has become the first company in Europe to successfully complete a pilot of Global Seafood Alliance’s (GSA) Raised Without Antibiotics Standard. The Yellowtail Kingfish producer was also the world’s first recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) to earn Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification in 2018.
Part of the BAP Vanguard program
The Raised Without Antibiotics Standard was published in 2021 as part of the BAP Vanguard program. It aims to ensure that participants in the program have produced farmed seafood without the use of any antibiotics, whether approved for use by regulatory agencies and/or permitted for the species being farmed. According to the Global Seafood Alliance, the BAP Vanguard program, which also includes other standards, such as the Enhanced Social Accountability and Employee Health and Safety Audit Standard, was created “to encourage rapid development of standards to recognize and incentivize promising advances and leading-edge innovations”.
In this context, the first requirement for joining the Vanguard program is to have previously obtained BAP certification. Kingfish Zeeland’s hatchery, farm and processing plant in the Netherlands are all currently certified to BAP standards and, in fact, as stated above, the company was the world’s first RAS to earn BAP certification in 2018. Later, to get the Raised Without Antibiotics claim, producers must prove they have the necessary procedures and practices in place to verify that antibiotics were not used through all phases of the life cycle of the year-class and lots in consideration for claims, as The Kingfish Company has successfully achieved. Once they have passed the audit, producers receive a confirmation letter for the facilities that participated in the program.
The shared mission to lead by example
Both, Kingfish Zeeland and the Global Seafood Alliance have expressed their commitment to the program, as well as their satisfaction with the results obtained. “We are on a mission to make the perfect fish; innovating and raising the bar not just at Kingfish Zeeland, but in the seafood industry. That’s why we’re proud to have passed the BAP Vanguard initiative, and thank BAP for partnering with us in the same ambition”, stated Cees-Jan Bastiannsen, Head of Quality and Sustainability at Kingfish Zeeland.
For his part, the CEO of the Global Seafood Alliance congratulated the Dutch company on its achievements. “Kudos to Kingfish Zeeland for going above and beyond what’s required in the BAP program by becoming certified against the new Raised Without Antibiotics Standard”, Brian Perkins said. “Companies that participate in the Vanguard program are leaders in their field and raise the bar for other farmed seafood producers”, concluded.
About The Kingfish Company & GSA
The Kingfish Company is a pioneer and leader in sustainable land-based aquaculture whose main product is the Yellowtail Kingfish (Ricciola/Hiramasa/Greater Amberjack). Its production is based on recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) and put the focus on animal welfare, so fish are farmed without the use of antibiotics or vaccines. The operations run on 100% renewable energy and the company’s facilities are powered by seawater, avoiding wasting fresh water. Its products are certified and approved as sustainable and environmentally friendly by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP), and British Retail Consortium (BRC). Its current annual production capacity at its Kingfish Zeeland facility in the Netherlands is 1,500 tons and will reach 3,500 tons in the second half of 2022. In the USA, permitting for the company’s 8,500 tons capacity facility is progressing on schedule. The Kingfish Company reported doubling sales and record production in Q2 2022.
The Global Seafood Alliance (GSA) is an international, non-profit trade association dedicated to advancing responsible seafood practices through education, advocacy, and third-party assurances. From environmental responsibility and social accountability to food safety, its work addresses the full spectrum of responsibility. The organization has become the leading provider of assurances for seafood globally through the development of its Best Aquaculture Practices and Best Seafood Practices certification programs. Established in 1997 as the Global Aquaculture Alliance, GSA is headquartered in Portsmouth, N.H., USA.