What is the MarinTrust Improver Programme?
The MarinTrust Improver Programme (IP) is a structured, timebound process, through which marine ingredient production factories sourcing from improving fisheries (i.e. Fishery Improvement Projects) can gain recognition of their production. It is not a standard and does not allow certification claims.
It is intended for fisheries which do not meet the requirements of the MarinTrust standard, one of which being that the raw material used for production is approved against the MarinTrust Fishery Assessment.
The MarinTrust IP provides a process through which an improvement plan for the fishery can be developed and accepted. The production site may then apply to use this improvement raw material as part of the IP and must pass the MarinTrust site audit in order to gain acceptance onto the programme.
Once accepted onto the Improver Programme, the fishery the site is sourcing from has a structured improvement journey mapped out with agreed milestones and a timeframe that must be met in order to maintain IP recognition.
The MarinTrust and its Governing Body Committee became aware that despite the initial success of their Standard, a lot of marine ingredient producers failed to meet the criteria. Reasons for this included operational issues within a factory, or with raw materials and their associated fisheries. Many of these producers are based in Asia, which is rapidly increasing aquaculture potential. This means that local companies wishing to use MarinTrust certified ingredients have to import at a higher cost, limiting the socio-economic benefits to the local communities.
The solution was to develop a credible and robust structured programme of improvements for producers, in line with the MarinTrust Standard, to allow accepted Improver Programme factories to reach the standard within a defined timeframe.
Read more about the impacts of the Improver Programme by visiting our Case studies page here.
The approval process for the MarinTrust Improver Programme is illustrated below (click here to enlarge the picture):
The MarinTrust Improver Programme Covid-19 statement
FIPs: All timelines associated with MarinTrust FIPs are still applicable and applicants are expected to provide annual milestone reports with evidence of compliance in line with the IP assurance checks. Any milestones that have been impacted by Covid-19 should be reported on as normal, with information and relevant evidence of any delays being provided. Any decisions regarding Covid-19 delays will be made on a case-by-case basis for each FIP via the peer review process and the Improver Programme Application Committee (IPAC).
Site audits: Site audits as part of the MarinTrust Improver Programme (IP) will follow the MarinTrust standard Covid-19 policy which can be found here. Audits may be applicable, via the risk assessment process, for a remote audit should all extension timelines be exhausted. No initial audits as part of the IP may take place remotely at this time.
What happens once a production site is accepted onto the MarinTrust IP?
For the production site to maintain compliant to the IP, they must comply with the following:
- The Accepted FIP they are sourcing from must comply with the Fishery Action Plan (FAP) and pass annual reporting and peer reviews of this reporting. This is checked each year via the peer review process outlined in the diagrams below
- The production site must continue to comply with the MarinTrust audit requirements following the 3 year audit cycle.
The annual peer review by the CB is to ensure:
- Sufficient evidence provided to demonstrate actions as part of the FAP
- Identify any areas where the evidence is insufficient
- Identify any milestones which have not been addressed
- Make a determination as to whether the FIP has demonstrated appropriate improvements to maintain acceptance on the IP.
FIP annual reporting process:
Claims and benefits
Read more here about the Improver Programme, its benefits and how to make a claim.
Please visit our Improver Programme FAQ here.