The MarinTrust standard strives for continuous improvement and has grown tremendously since the standard’s official launch back in September 2009 and the launch of Version 2.0 in 2017. To ensure that the MarinTrust Programme remains relevant and fit for purpose, in accordance with the ISEAL Standard Setting Code and ISO 17065, it must be reviewed and revised on a regular basis, which is the aim of the upcoming Version 3.0.
Key Objectives of Version 3.0:
- To continue to meet the objectives set in the development of Version 2.0 of the MarinTrust standard
- To enhance and strengthen the MarinTrust Fisheries Approval Criteria for raw materials (whole fish and by-products) used for the production of compliant marine ingredients to promote more robust responsible fishery management.
- To enhance the traceability criteria to provide assurance to the traceability and integrity of the compliant marine ingredient.
- To enhance the MarinTrust Good Manufacturing Practices Criteria by taking into consideration good manufacturing practices for production that is intended for human consumption to ensure that marine ingredients are produced utilising relevant and robust practices for food safety.
- To promote more efficient marine ingredients production practices to reduce the environmental impact of the marine ingredients manufacturing process.
- To promote and create improved social and welfare benefits for all workers employed within the marine ingredients manufacturing sector.
- To evaluate extending the scope to include human rights criteria for vessels supplying whole fish to the marine ingredients manufacturing sector.
- To ensure that MarinTrust Version 3 remains relevant, robust and fit for purpose.
The development of Version 3.0 involves a rigorous process with the aim of shaping together the future of our standard, keeping it as simple as possible, while maintaining a high level of robustness.
2018 - Process launched
In April 2018, the MarinTrust Governing Body Committee (GBC) ratified a proposal to review and enhance the standard towards Version 2 Revision 1, with enhanced strategic objectives. MarinTrust has been working on drafting these objectives, taking into consideration the different benchmark exercises with relevant norms and consultations with different actors in the marine ingredient value chain.
2020 - Public consultation
With significant changes having been made, it was finally agreed that the standard would be developed into a new version, named Version 3.0. The Terms of Reference for V3.0 were approved by the GBC on 13 October 2020 and a decision was made to submit them to a 30-day public consultation.
On 12 November 2020, MarinTrust invited stakeholders to provide inputs into the Terms of Reference for development of the V3.0 Factory Standard which opened for 30-day public consultation until 11th December 2020.
2021 - Analysis & stakeholder engagement
The next steps carried out in 2021 included:
- Background research; legislation
- Gap analysis / issues with current version
- Multiple workshops with certificate holders
- Questionnaires (all certificate holders)Proposals for changes identified
- Committee meetings
- Fishery and by-product assessment methodologies
2022 - Review & Pilots
A series of reviews and pilots were carried out in 2021:
- Review and input from MarinTrust committees; Social, Fisheries, Technical
- Informal pilots and self assessments
- Formal pilots
2023: Public consultation & launch
A 60-day Public Consultation was held from 4th May to 3rd July 2023, with the aim to launch later that year. Individual steps include:
- Fishery and by-product assessment methodologies
- Committee meetings & revisions to clauses
- Public consultation
- Approval & launch
Key Opportunities for the MarinTrust programme to consider
- Use of emerging technology [e.g. Key Data Element (KDE) transfer through the supply chain to enable the use of a blockchain or an equivalent system] to source the origin of a certified MarinTrust marine ingredient efficiently and accurately.
Standard Collaboration and recognition
- Ability to make MarinTrust certification the “go to” Standard, through better collaboration with regulatory authorities and other standards (e.g. GFSI or GSSI recognised standards)
- Recognise and utilise existing processes to source, produce and trace products, which are underpinned by legislation and internationally recognised norms, to avoid duplication of effort and maximise efficiencies e.g. US and EU traceability regulations, and internationally recognised norms including the UN Guiding Principles and FAO and ILO guidelines and conventions.
- Explore the potential for working in collaboration with by-product raw material providers to allow better traceability for marine ingredients produced from by-products.
- Enhance opportunities to educate the supply chain about how rigorous the MarinTrust programme is.
- Provide training for an applicant’s relevant staff to understand the standard’s objectives and its benefits to their operation.
- Improve the reputation and value of by-products through improved traceability
- Improve assessment consistency and efficiency. Provide a risk assessment framework for use by CBs to determine risk status of plant/factories so that organisations that have successfully attained the standard could be deemed to be low risk, resulting in reduced audit associated costs.
- Identify ways of detecting fraudulent activities (e.g. adulterations and substitution) by introducing more rigorous traceability system and mass balance checks within the standard and systems to handle non-conforming product once this is detected
- Use of additional product authenticity testing methodologies to provide greater assurance on origin data
- Improve the use of the MarinTrust Logo and claim to protect the integrity of the entire programme
- Continue the current certification model to ensure it remains in alignment with ISO 17065 and ISEAL Codes.
- To explore the feasibility of expanding the scope of the MarinTrust social criteria to the vessels providing whole fish raw material to the plant and ascertain how these may be met by the existing programmes.
- To identify the different social performance indicators within the production site to measure improvement and to define the social outcomes within the standard.
- Revise the Social Conformance Criteria to consider the most relevant and current International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions to assess the social and welfare rights of Employees within the Marine Ingredient producing factories.
- To identify the different environmental performance indicators within the production site to measure improvement and to define the environmental outcomes within the standard.
Next Proposed Review and Revision
In accordance with the ISEAL Standard Setting Code, MarinTrust shall revise the MarinTrust standard at least once every 5 years. The review of the current standard, V2.0, is now underway and the terms of reference can be found here.