BIM Certified Quality Aquaculture (CQA) Farm Standards

The BIM CQA programme supports production of high-class farmed Irish seafood and provides a means of differentiating aquaculture products in the marketplace through eco, organic and quality labelling.

The CQA Standards are a product certification for finfish and mussels and comprise two integral elements:‌ CQA Processing Standard and CQA Farm Standard. The Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI) has provided formal recognition of the BIM Certified Quality Aquaculture (CQA) scheme for the scope of Aquaculture.

About the Programme

The CQA Programme was developed by a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) with representatives from all parts of the supply chain, from feed to fork. It is a business-to-customer assurance, which is managed according to ISO 17065, and uses aquaculture facilities as its unit of certification. The Programme is GSSI approved and underpinned by the FAO Technical Guidelines on Aquaculture Certification.

Who Can Apply?

The CQA Standards are open to anyone within the region of Ireland (Northern Ireland included), regardless of size, scale, management or minimum number of operators.

What Is It?

Certified Quality Aquaculture (CQA) Farm Standards support the production of high-class farmed Irish fish and mussels.

The standard provides a means of differentiating aquaculture products in the marketplace through eco, organic and quality labelling. GSSI’s recognition shows that their Farm Standard  is in alignment with all applicable Essential Components of the GSSI Global Benchmark Tool. The Tool is underpinned by the FAO Technical Guidelines on Aquaculture Certification and consists of performance areas related to scheme governance, operational management (including chain of custody) and applied aquaculture farm audit standards.
Organic Production Requirements

Organic production requirements that must be in place (together with the general requirements) to achieve organic certification for salmon and mussels and includes:

  1. The production process from inputs through to outputs
  2. Assessment of additional organic procedures and systems
Eco Production Requirements

This section aims to show commitment to environmentally sustainable development during the production process. It deals with the additional eco requirements that must be in place (together with the general requirements) to achieve eco certification. This scope is available for salmon, freshwater fish and mussels.

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