Wal-Mart Adopts Standards for Farm-Raised Shrimp

BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Declaring it an "important step" toward ensuring its imported shrimp is farmed with environmental sustainability in mind, Wal-Mart here said it will now certify that all its foreign shrimp suppliers adhere to Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) standards.

Partnering with Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) and Aquaculture Certification Council, Inc. (ACC), Wal-Mart helped develop the sustainability standards as part of its major environmental initiative announced last month.

"This certification is just one way Wal-Mart is working to source products in environmentally sound ways -- and deliver these high-value products at affordable prices to our customers," said Peter Redmond, v.p. and divisional merchandise manager for deli and seafood.

The BAP standards provide quantitative international guidelines and auditing procedures throughout the shrimp production process. Wal-Mart guided the development of the new standards with the GAA, assistance from leading technical experts and various non-governmental organizations such as Conservation International.

"We felt the governance structure and geographic scope of the BAP program best fit our environmental goals, and it was the right thing to do for our customers," said Redmond. "With this new certification, when customers buy shrimp in our stores, they can be assured it is farmed in a way that is sustainable and helps protect the environment. Soon, a certification stamp on the package will reinforce that fact."

Site inspections and ongoing audits are carried out by ACC's independent certifiers, who will examine facility procedures and infrastructure, review records and sample effluents to ensure production processes meet the highest standards.
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