SAUDI ARABIA – The National Aquaculture Group (NAQUA), the largest aquaculture operation of shrimp farming, fish farming and feed business in Saudi Arabia, has received the Aquaculture Stewardship Council’s (ASC) shrimp farm certification for producing vannamei shrimp.
This makes it the first shrimp farm in the Middle East and North Africa region to be awarded this distinction, and in turn places Saudi Arabia among the top 15 countries to have the ASC certification for shrimp.
“We have achieved a remarkable milestone with the ASC shrimp farm certification. It is not an easy certification, but it clearly demonstrates NAQUA’s compliance to best farming, environmental and biosecurity practices in a socially responsible way,” said Diego Illingworth, CEO of the National Aquaculture Group.
ASC represents the strictest standards in the aquaculture industry, which include a wide set of requirements such as responsible sourcing of feed, water quality, animal welfare, disease prevention, fair treatment, compensation for workers and maintaining a positive relationship with neighboring communities.
In addition to the ASC certification, NAQUA will also receive the ASC Chain of Custody certification for its processing plant in respect to product traceability and post-harvest best practice.
“At the National Aquaculture Group, we pursue a strong approach on product integrity, quality and food safety, environment and sustainability. The ASC certification complements NAQUA’s compliance to all global regulatory and industrial norms for a responsible and sustainable aquaculture system.
“NAQUA is committed to producing the best possible quality of aquaculture products for our customers and consumers, and ASC certification is a big step to fulfill our promise,” the CEO added.
NAQUA is considered a model for local and global aquaculture and seafood production. Miss Koh Siewlan, Director of International sales at National Aquaculture Group noted that the company offers the highest quality of shrimp products to the world.
“Today, we stand on a new horizon for aquaculture excellence with ASC certification. This is a proof of NAQUA’s commitment to maintaining and leading in responsible aquaculture best practices. I congratulate the entire NAQUA family on this historical success,” she said.
The ASC certification is an addition to NAQUA’s existing international certifications and recognitions, such as Global Aquaculture Alliance’s Best Aquaculture Practices (GAA BAP), Global GAP, FSSC 22000, ISO 22000, ISO 9001, ISO 14001, HACCP and halal certification.