What does ‘responsible’ sourcing and production mean?
Marine ingredients come from fisheries that do not engage in illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, and are managed in accordance with the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. This means that the fish stocks being harvested are not overfished, and that other species, habitats, and ecosystems are not threatened by fishing activities.
Production is carried out to high standards of safety and quality, with sufficient care given to the environment, workforce, and local community.
Traceability of marine ingredients to a certified and responsible source is assured throughout the supply chain.
Where we are
We ensure that whatever we do as a Standard holder contributes to the seventeen SDGs either directly or indirectly.
MarinTrust is currently contributing to nine of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Where we are going
With the launch of the Version 3 of the MarinTrust Factory Standard, it is expected that our direct contribution towards the SDGs will increase to eleven as two new SDGs (Gender Equality and Life on Land) have been integrated into the Version 3 of the Standard.
Below are MarinTrust contribution to the following SDGs.
Per capita consumption of blue foods has doubled from 9.9 kg in the 1960s to 20.4 kg in 2021 (FAO). Over 70% of marine ingredients are used by the aquaculture sector, which has overtaken wild catch. MarinTrust ensures the responsible sourcing of raw materials for fish feed and supports the development of the aquaculture sector. Our Factory Standard and Chain of Custody Standard guarantee responsible production and full traceability of MarinTrust certified ingredients and products, supporting the use of fish by-products. With the FAO estimating that up to 30-35% of a fish is being wasted during processing, there’s huge opportunity for the marine ingredient industry to contribute to utilising these valuable resources through better use of by-products, and therefore to address food insecurity.
Good health and well-being
Blue foods can play a unique role in increasing access and affordability to healthy diets by providing essential Omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA),high digestible proteins and micronutrients such as iron, zinc, calcium, iodine, and vitamins A, B12, and D.
Both our Standards (Factory standard and Chain of Custody standard) ensure that marine ingredients produced by the certified facilities are responsibly sourced and produced and fully traceable through the value chain.
These assurances play a key role in supporting the use of marine ingredients in the aquaculture and the nutraceutical sector, which are the two main markets for marine ingredients.
Both farmed fish and marine fish oil supplements have demonstrated health benefits for humans.
Gender equality is a broad and complex topic and collaboration is needed to eradicate violence, sexual harassment and discrimination.
With our Factory Standard, we make it possible for continuous improvement to be assessed and audited: a marine ingredient production factory certified against the version 3 Factory standard will be able to demonstrate that all its employees are treated fairly, with no discrimination.
MarinTrust recognises other standard holders that share the same objectives for responsibility in the seafood industry.
Clean water and sanitation
Cleaning, hygiene and waste management forms part of the Standard requirements. Certificate holders demonstrate hygiene practices, waste management and are committed to ensuring that water used in or associated with the process are of potable quality. Staff members have the assurance that staff facilities are available and healthy, with handwashing and sanitation equipment.
The Standard will require any food and drinking water to be healthy. Sanitation facilities will be provided for all workers. Water usage will be part of our performance indicators to help show that facilities are using water and discharging waste water responsibly.
Decent work and economic growth
The MarinTrust Standard has a section dedicated for social accountability to ensure that the certificate holder is able to demonstrate good social practice and human rights of all employees and ensure there is no discrimination and no child or forced labour. With MarinTrust's Factory Standard (upcoming Version 3), the certificate holder is able to demonstrate that itself and the factory's suppliers have a social policy in place.
In addition, Certificate holders are required to demonstrate responsible manufacturing including care for workforce.
With our Improver Programme, we are contributing to increasing raw material supply locally, therefore potential production and export in these countries.
Industry, innovation and infrastructure
Innovation has a clear role to play in helping ensure that responsible practices keep developing in the marine ingredients sector.
Innovative technologies, which MarinTrust has been exploring through several pilots, can support the traceability of data and rely on identifying and collecting key data elements. These include master data (vessel name, vessel registration etc.). It is also key to determine who needs the data and who is responsible for collecting them. These elements, called Critical Tracking Events (CTEs), assign responsibility for data capture. Interoperability between the systems is the key to success. This relies on behavioural change, collaboration and standardisation of data, which we are seeking by encouraging all stakeholders to align with the guidance provided by Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability.
Furthermore, our Improver Programme can contribute to facilitating improvements in local infrastructures as part of the fisheries' improvement journey, specifically regarding the traceability systems between the fishery and the factories.
Responsible consumption & production
The MarinTrust Programme aligns with Sustainable Development Goal 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) and focuses on three key pillars:
A MarinTrust-certified factory meets three pillars of responsibility:
- Responsible Sourcing: Ensuring that fishery material (non-IUU) used in production comes from fisheries that comply with the key principles of the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries.
- Responsible Traceability: Ensuring that marine ingredients are traceable back to fisheries that are compliant with the MarinTrust Standard.
- Responsible Production: Ensuring that marine ingredients are produced in a safe and sustainable manner, and in a safe working environment.
Factories ensure pure and safe products are produced under a recognized Quality Management System, thereby demonstrating freedom from potentially unsafe and illegal materials.
Our standards ensure employees have access to potable drinking water and suitable sanitation facilities in the factory, ensuring the welfare of workers and production of safe products.
The environmental section and environmental KPIs ensure factories are compliant with local environmental requirements, assess their impact on the environment and track performance to measure both the usage of water and discharge of waste water.
Food systems are responsible for around one third of global greenhouse gas emissions. In 2017, the fish farming sector generated 0.49% of man-made GHG emissions. Feed represents 80% of aquaculture’s carbon footprint.
Compared to other main feed ingredients, marine ingredients such as fishmeal and fish oil have great credentials in terms of carbon footprint. If we focus on anchovy meal, its carbon footprint is typically around 872 kg of CO2-equivalents compared to agriculture derived ingredients such as soybean protein concentrate, which has a carbon footprint typically around 3686 kg of CO2-equivlanets (source: Global Feed Lifecycle assessment Institutel come from wild catch of small pelagic species, the amount of fish by-products used in marine ingredient production keeps increasing and is now at 34% (source: IFFO - The Marine Ingredients Organisation). Circularity helps reduce food production's environmental impacts and mitigate climate change. This requires that procedures are in place to assure traceability and food safety. This is a core objective of our Chain of Custody Standard.
Greenhouse gases (GHG) emission reporting has been included in Version 3 of our Factory Standard. Collecting information on other resources used will help us to understand if facilities are making improvements in procurement and changing to different fuel sources.
With Version 3 of our Factory Standard, the details of fish by-products supplied to a marine ingredient production factory will be documented (species used, date of production, supplier etc), allowing for the feed sector to improve traceability of the raw materials it uses.
Life below water
Healthy oceans and seas are essential to existence: the ocean produces over half of the world's oxygen and absorbs fifty times more carbon dioxide than our atmosphere. Oceans are powerful climate regulators. A healthy marine biomass is key to local livelihoods that depend on fish resources and the blue economy.
As part of our contributions towards sustainable use of the oceans and elimination of overfishing, MarinTrust certificate holders are able to demonstrate that raw materials used for the production of marine ingredients are responsibly sourced from fish stocks that are not overfished, and that other species, habitats, and ecosystems are not threatened by fishing activities.
With Version 3 of the Factory Standard, the requirements on traceability have been strengthened. The raw material assessments for whole fish and by-products will include a step-by-step process that checks IUU risk indices, endangered species lists and fisheries management systems. The Factory Standard builds on these to verify that the facility is sourcing from legal sources.
MarinTrust’s Improver Programme enables fisheries that do not currently meet the MarinTrust requirements to work towards timebound milestones over a five-year period and long term approval for certification. The Panama small pelagic Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) was completed in October 2022, using the MarinTrust Improver Programme structure, and the fishmeal and fish oil sourced from this fishery achieved certification under the MarinTrust factory standard later that year.
Life on land
Environmental responsibility is at the heart of our Factory Standard, including the collection of data on environmental performance, looking at air emissions (including GHGs), discharge to water, and ground pollution.
Version 3 of the Factory Standard supports local communities and addresses the impact of a facility's operations on its surrounding community.
Partnerships for the Goals
MarinTrust works with other standard holders that share the same objectives for responsibility in the seafood industry. MarinTrust is recognised by The Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) , The Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, Global GAP and The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) . We formally recognise Marine Stewardship Council, (MSC), Feed Material Assurance Scheme (FEMAS), GMP+ (B2) and Chilean PAC.
Improving responsible sourcing and production of marine ingredients globally cannot be achieved in isolation. It relies on a collaborative effort and is part of a wider effort to support the development of responsible seafood consumption and the FAO "Blue Tranformation".
- Pilots and public consultations are a vital part of the development process of our programme. They ensure that our programme developments meet expectations of all those that will use it. Pilots are an opportunity to home in on any parts of the programme that is being developed and provide an opportunity for clarification. Public consultations ensure that the wider community has an opportunity to engage and provide feedback.
- Traceability of feed ingredients is instrumental to traceability of aquaculture products. Standardised and interoperable systems are needed across the value chain. This is why MarinTrust is supporting the inclusion of Marine Ingredients within Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability (GDST) covering the collection, usage, transfer, and management of data within its upcoming Factory Standard v3.
- Our Improver Programme facilitates collaboration between Fishery Improvement Projects (FIP) stakeholders (including industry, fishers, government, NGOs etc.) and the wider industry.