ASC seal until 2025: St. Andrews recertifies with important international seal that guarantees its environmental and social responsibility
20 Jan 2023
The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) standard is one of St. Andrews’ sustainability certifications, in addition to BAP, ORGANIC and FOS (Friends of the Sea).
The two plants that St. Andrews has in the province of Chiloé, X Region of Los Lagos, were again audited to renew their ASC certification, one of the most important among the sustainability certifications for aquaculture and granted by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), the world’s leading certifying institution for farmed seafood products, which guarantees that the St. Andrews mussels have been produced in a responsible manner with the communities and the environment, from cultivation to processing and production of final products. In this case, the plant certifications will be valid until the end of 2025.
Pedro Ovalle, Commercial Manager of St. Andrews, states that “we are very pleased to have renewed this international seal. Our focus is on safety and quality for our customers, as well as being conscious of the environment and the community, which is why we are working again for this certification even though it is not mandatory”.
In addition to the ASC, the mussels produced by St. Andrews have other recognitions, such as the Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP), the Friends Of the Sea (FOS) and the Organic product certification of the International Agricultural Organization (IOA).
Other sustainable actions
St. Andrews has both its cultivation centers and its plants in the Los Lagos region, mostly in the province of Chiloé, and therefore, since its beginnings, it has promoted the reduction of pollution that may be generated in the area. In this sense, Ovalle points out that “we always want to go a step further, we are concerned about the environment, mainly in the area where we are operating, so we generate different initiatives, even if there is no impact on our management. For example, a waste recovery project and beach cleaning operations to ensure that the beaches are free of waste”.
Along the same lines, the mussel farm is looking for new alternatives for the treatment and disposal of waste in general, such as cooking broths, the accompanying fauna that grows with the cultivated mussels, the meat waste from the process and the mussel shells. “We have a big challenge: to take care of these inorganic and organic wastes. Currently we transfer them outside the Chiloé Archipelago, which implies a great impact on the carbon footprint of the transfer. We are working on alternatives,” said the St. Andrews executive.
In addition, they are already developing projects to improve their water footprint, reducing the use of fresh water in the different processes. In terms of the carbon footprint of the production and processing of mussels, St. Andrews is up to 20 times lower than other proteins for human consumption, such as poultry meat, fish, pigs, cattle, reaching only 1.42 kg of CO2e for each kilo of final product based on mussels produced. Pedro Ovalle, points out that, “our product is a natural and organic food, we do not feed it, it eats the microalgae that are in the sea, so we have to be consistent and follow this line, whether in the cultivation centers, processing plants and at the commercial level, taking care of the environment, respecting the communities and maintaining our certifications that endorse it”.