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Talking Points: GAA/BAP & Social Responsibility

The Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) has issued the following talking points to help its supporters talk about what GAA and its industry-leading Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) third-party certification program are doing to prevent labor abuse in the seafood supply chain:

GAA is fully committed to social responsibility as one of the pillars of its BAP certification program. BAP-certified processing plants, farms, hatcheries and feed mills are required to meet standards for adequate wages, a safe and healthy working environment and prevention of child labor and forced labor. The BAP program is based on third-party audits by independent certification bodies to ensure compliance with the BAP standards.

Prevention of child labor and forced labor can only be accomplished with the cooperation of all stakeholders — industry, the marketplace, government and non-governmental organizations promoting labor rights, and GAA continues to immerse itself in the discussion, especially as it pertains to the feed-fish fisheries sector, where labor abuse does occur. Third-party certification programs like BAP are a key component of the solution. But the eradication of child labor and forced labor will not be achieved without the consistent enforcement of labor laws by local officials.

 GAA is a member of the Seafood Task Force, a multi-stakeholder coalition focused on the eradication of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) and the social and environmental injustices related to IUU.

GAA takes very seriously allegations of child labor and forced labor in the seafood supply chain, and allegations of non-compliance can trigger an unannounced audit, in addition to routine annual audits. Since its inception in 1997, GAA has proactively addressed issues such as social responsibility by working with stakeholders to find practical solutions that can be implemented effectively and continuously improved over time.

The BAP standards are comprehensive, encompassing the entire aquaculture value chain, from hatcheries and feed mills to farms and processing plants.

BAP is the world’s only third-party aquaculture certification program with seafood processing plant standards; no other aquaculture program addresses the outsourcing of processing to a third-party entity. In December 2015, the BAP program took a stand against child labor and forced labor in the shrimp supply chain by prohibiting BAP-certified processing plants from outsourcing the processing of shrimp to third-party entities.

GAA and its BAP team work with more than 150 retail and foodservice brands worldwide to ensure that they’re sourcing farmed seafood from responsible sources. GAA encourages consumers to look for, or ask their supermarket or restaurant for, farmed seafood products with the blue BAP label, which ensures that the product originated from a processing plant, farm, hatchery or feed mill that met standards for adequate wages, a safe and healthy working environment and prevention of child labor and forced labor.