A key step towards sustainable shrimp production in Vietnam
Vietnam is the third largest exporter of farmed shrimp globally, with around 90% of total volume exported. 620 families under 30 small-scale shrimp groups and cooperatives, based in Soc Trang, Bac Lieu and Camau Provinces in Vietnam, have been working with WWF-Vietnam to improve operations with the aim of achieving ASC certification. Four of these groups will undergo ASC assessment by early next year, when the group certification standard will be available.
These efforts – made possible by a Danida funded project – assist farmers in improving their operations and capacity to meet ASC standards. Once the farmers meet these standards, they are proving that they have measurably reduced any adverse impacts on the environment and local communities.
WWF-Vietnam is also working with two large-scale producers and international buyers to purchase shrimp from small holders to strengthen the supply chain. The first shrimp farm owned by Quoc Viet has entered into assessment against the ASC Shrimp Standard for well-managed and responsible farms from 23-25 June 2014. Another, Ut-Xi Company, is scheduled to go through ASC assessment in August 2014.
The global market demand for farmed shrimp remains strong, even though growth has tapered or declined in the historically key ‘traditional’ markets of the US, Japan and Europe. This decline or tapering is being offset by demand from the growing middle classes of emerging market and middle-income countries. It will become increasingly important to engage these markets to promote sustainable shrimp production globally, and ASC certified shrimp present a key opportunity to meet the increasing demand for responsible, sustainable seafood. While demand for ASC certified products now comes mostly from EU markets, it is projected that the demand for these sustainable products will grow elsewhere. Japan in particular has a growing appetite for ASC certified pangasius from Vietnam, a possible indication that ASC certified shrimp would also be in high demand there.