ASC Concludes First Summit Visit to Vietnam
October 31, 2023
Major seafood buyers touch down in Ho Chi Minh for latest ASC Summit, offering a front row seat to responsible seafood production.
From October 23 – 28, seafood buyers from across North America embarked on a five-day commercial visit to Vietnam, one of the leading aquaculture producing countries in the world. Participants of the first ASC Summit to take place in Vietnam engaged with responsible farmers of shrimp and pangasius – known more commonly as swai.
The novel series of interactive ASC Summit activities included tours of certified seafood farms, processing facilities and feed mills all contributing to the responsible care and supply of ASC certified and labeled seafood to markets across the globe.
Vietnamese seafood exports play a significant role in the availability of farmed seafood to North American consumers, and ASC labeled responsibly farmed shrimp and swai in particular. Today in Vietnam there are:
- Over 300 ASC certified shrimp farm sites
- Over 50 ASC certified swai farm sites
- Over 73,000 metric tons of ASC certified shrimp produced annually
- Almost 8,000 metric tons of ASC certified swai produced annually
The farmed seafood industry is growing rapidly and, with over half of all seafood eaten in North America now being farm raised, it’s more important than ever for responsible practices to be implemented. It’s also crucial that seafood decision-makers have the chance to see these producers in action, ask questions, and begin a discourse around the future of farmed seafood.
“The plant and farm visits, really opened my eyes,” said Danielle Black, Director of Fresh Procurement, Seafood at Loblaw Companies – Canada’s largest retailer. “Seeing the different levels of production, farming and technology helped me better understand the product that ends up in our stores and ultimately on the customer’s plate. Bringing folks from around the world to support Responsible Aquaculture shows the need for Global Support. Consumer awareness is key and soliciting alignment and education from these programs is invaluable.”
”The ASC Summit series continues to offer an educational experience that no other organization is providing at this level for responsibly farmed seafood,” said Marcos Moya, ASC’s Global Producer Outreach Lead. “We are connecting major retailers directly to the farmers whose seafood reaches American consumers, and that is key to increasing positive impacts around environmental sustainability and social responsibility in aquaculture. Communicating the value behind ASC’s sea green label is critical to ensuring responsibly farmed seafood comes with strong assurance, verification, and traceability from farm to store shelf.”
ASC’s Summit in Vietnam marked the final destination of the series for 2023, which previously brought seafood buyers from around the globe to visit shrimp farms in Ecuador (June) and seabass and bream farms in Turkey (Sept.).
The immersive, hands-on experience in Vietnam was the longest summit with the most site visits to-date, showing how certified farmers are using the the ASC label to demonstrate their sustainability performance, values and commitment to responsible seafood farming across sectors.
The organization will soon announce a new round of ASC Summit locations and dates for 2024, expanding its footprint to share the benefits of responsible seafood farming with even more industry stakeholders.