IFFO extends standards to value-added fish oil suppliers

By Jess Halliday

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Fish oil Omega-3 fatty acid

The IFFO has announced a pilot Chain of Custody scheme as an extension to the year-old Responsible Supply standards, and Croda looks set to be the first concentrated fish oil supplier to be certified.

The International Fishmeal and Fish Oil Organisation launched its Global Standard for Responsible Supply (IFFO-RS) 12 months ago, based on the key elements of the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. The initial standards covered fish meal and crude fish oil producers.

At IFFO’s annual conference in Beijing last week the organization’s director general Jonathan Shepherd announced that the standards are now being extended in two directions. The first is the piloted Chain of Custody, which opens up certification to companies further along the supply chain. The second is the inclusion of by-product raw materials, where previously just whole fish were covered.

The new IFFO RS Chain of Custody certification covers responsible marine sourcing, production methods and raw material traceability.

“Responsible sourcing and production is a hot topic for the nutritional industry today and a top priority for both Croda and our customers. In making our decision, we have reviewed a number of accreditations linked to sustainability and responsible sourcing and the IFFO RS certification is, in our opinion, by far the most rigorous in its approach, demanding a thorough review of our entire supply chain and production facilities”,​ said Dave Cherry, managing director, Health Care, Croda Europe.

“IFFO are demanding in their approach but, with a number of documents requested and audit visits to our MHRA approved Leek site planned, we are looking to progress this as a priority and are working with IFFO and its Technical Advisory Committee to finalise the new Chain of Custody module of the IFFO Standard.”

Beijing meeting

Delegates at IFFO’s meeting in Beijing heard that combined global first-hand sales of fishmeal and fish oil are close to $10bn a year, according to Dr Jonathan Shepherd, director general of the International Fishmeal and Fish Oil Organisation (IFFO).

“Given the finite supply of marine ingredients, the industry is increasingly focused on the strategic use of fishmeal and fish oil at critical stages in the life cycle where they offer the greatest value to the growing animal,”​ he said.

“Our industry is also the main source of the healthy omega-3s, EPA and DHA, and the market is expanding rapidly with growing interest in fish proteins and amino acids as well,”​ he said.

Approximately 90 per cent of commercially available EPA and DHA is derived from fish oil, and the value of the omega-3 supplement market in the US alone rose from $40m in 1995 to $1000m in 2009, according to trade association GOED.

“The crude fish oil industry is transitioning from a commodity market to a value-added orientation. This means developing strategies to provide products that are uniquely suited for each use and also understanding the importance of consumer issues,”​ said Adam Ismail, executive director of GOED.

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