IFFO RS is aware of the forthcoming publication, “Fishing for Catastrophe” and welcomes this opportunity to clarify how it operates as an independent 3rd party standard.

  1. Development of IFFO RS, the 3rd party independent standard

IFFO RS was originally launched 10 years ago, an industry initiative driven by IFFO, The Marine Ingredients Organisation, as the continued growth of the global fishmeal and fish oil markets, together with growing concern over the sustainability of global fisheries and the fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing (IUU), shaped an increasing need for the industry as a whole to demonstrate commitment towards responsible sourcing and production of marine ingredients. In response, a multi-stakeholder group representative of the full value chain and relevant NGOs (including SFP, WWF and MCS) was established to tackle these issues and to provide stakeholders with a tool to demonstrate responsible practices. As a result, the IFFO RS Standard, a third-party business to business certification scheme for fishmeal and fish oil producers was created. It ensures independent certification of the scheme via third party inspection and accreditation to internationally recognised standards such as ISO 17065.  This is further endorsed through IFFO RS’s Membership of ISEAL, the global membership association for credible sustainability standards

Since 2014, IFFO RS Ltd has been a separate entity with its own governance structure, articles, purpose and budget. As a business-to-business independent third-party-audited certification programme, IFFO RS aims to champion best practices within the marine ingredients industry. 

  1. The IFFO RS Standard

The IFFO RS Standard consists of an independent desktop-based fishery assessment, that follows the UN’s Fish & Agricultural Organisation’s (FAO) Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, on the sourcing fishery and an independent audit of the fishmeal and fish oil producing plant where robust sourcing, traceability and manufacturing systems must be in place. 

The IFFO RS certification process is transparent and based on clear guidance on Version 2.0 of the standard. This standard was produced by a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) representing the different parts of the value chain including marine ingredient producers, feed processors, fisheries and aquaculture standard holders, retailers, fisheries experts and NGOs. The drafted IFFO RS Standard Version 2.0 was placed in Public Consultation and follows ISEAL codes for standard development.

  1. IFFO RS Improver Programme

The industry recognises the need for continual improvement and to increase the volume of independently and scientifically assessed marine ingredients globally. The IFFO RS Improver programme provides a transparent and structured pathway of improvement to reach the point of application into the IFFO RS standard for certification for those fish meal plants currently unable to meet the standard. The IP enables such fisheries and marine ingredient producers to obtain recognition for consistent, measured and directed progress made towards achieving final IFFO RS approval. In this way, IFFO RS also supports the continued improvement of the fisheries that provide the raw material for fishmeal and fish oil manufacture.  An interesting aspect of these fisheries improvements is the likelihood that there are also broader-reaching benefits across the marine ecosystem in these fisheries, through the improved management of those stocks.



IFFO RS is the leading independent business to business certification programme for the production of marine ingredients consisting of; The IFFO RS for Responsible Supply, the IFFO RS Chain of Custody for Responsible Supply, and the IFFO RS Improver Programme. Since opening for application in October 2009, 150 plants in over 20 different countries have gained IFFO RS certification and over 50% of the world’s combined production of marine ingredients is IFFO RS compliant.

To find out more visit www.iffors.com

Contact: Libby Woodhatch, [email protected]

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