Sustainablility and Food Safety
Ipswich Shellfish Group Sustainability Statement
Within the Ipswich Shellfish Group of companies, sustainability is at the core of what we do! Across our seven locations, we recognize the growing importance of sustainability in the seafood industry. We have a responsibility to do what we can to source our seafood as sustainably as possible to guarantee fish for the future. We are dedicated to providing the highest quality seafood for our customers and want to be a resource for them to make the best sourcing decisions possible. We are committed to educating our staff on the various seafood certifications we hold like Marine Stewardship Council Chain of Custody (MSC CoC) and Aquaculture Stewardship Council Chain of Custody (ASC CoC) to ensure we fully understand our commitments and practice what we preach. As a founding member of Sea Pact, Ipswich Shellfish Group is dedicated to working with other like-minded seafood companies in North America to drive industry sustainability progress and help improve fisheries around the world. We recognize the need for maintaining a balanced and healthy ocean environment and managed aquaculture methods for the future for our fisheries so we can continue to provide for our customers for years to come!
It is our responsibility as seafood processors and distributors to consider how to best address local, regional, and global concerns on seafood sustainability across all of our operations. The Ipswich Shellfish Group of companies recognizes that there are steps that can be taken to ensure the seafood we provide to our customers is harvested in an environmentally responsible manner. We do not source from any fishery found to have IUU (Illegal, Unreported, or Unregulated) issues or that is currently on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) red list. If we encounter a source of seafood that is not presently sustainable, we have the ability to utilize our purchasing influence along with our fellow Sea Pact members to encourage fisheries and farms to move forward with credible, documented, and verified improvement projects:
In the event the fishery or farm are unable to participate in a FIP or AIP, but they can demonstrate continuous improvement in their sustainability practices, we are willing to support those businesses.
The Ipswich Shellfish Group of companies is proud to be MSC and ASC Chain of Custody (CoC) certified – global organizations working with fisheries, aquaculture farms, seafood companies, scientists, conservation groups, and the public to promote the best environmental choice in seafood. While we do consider the MSC and ASC standards in our procurement decisions, Ipswich Shellfish Group does not require all of our products to be officially certified as sustainable or responsible. We seek to ensure that the products we sell meet certain benchmarks for food safety, quality, and sustainability and are committed to improving seafood traceability and coordinating data reporting in the industry.
In order to stay informed and up-to-date with current industry trends, the Ipswich Shellfish Group of companies has aligned with other organizations and businesses in this industry who are like-minded in the goals of working towards a more sustainable seafood industry. These relationships with other sustainability leaders give us proactive solutions to share with our customers and help us to remain current and responsive to the ever-changing regulations, species stocks, catch methods, and market to assure that seafood will be available into the future.
The Ipswich Shellfish Group is a founding member of Sea Pact. This alliance of 10 seafood distributors in North America is a first of its kind in the seafood industry and was formed with the goal of improving seafood sustainability globally. Sea Pact aims to use the collective power of like-minded North American seafood companies to improve the fishing and fish farming systems we procure from.
Ipswich Shellfish Group is a Gulf of Maine Responsibly Harvested partner, committed to continuously improving the sustainability of the Gulf of Maine seafood industry and helping our customers to source Gulf of Maine Responsibly Harvested product.
Ipswich Shellfish Group is a member of the East Coast Shellfish Growers Association, an organization representing the needs of aquaculture and the environment.
Food Safety – Third Party Audits
Food processing operations are subject to inspection by local, State and Federal authorities to assure compliance with a whole host of regulations including Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). Seafood processing operations must also comply with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) Seafood Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulation.
The Ipswich Shellfish Group of companies meets all regulatory requirements and also meets or exceeds the industry best practice standards as certified by third party auditors.
The Ipswich Shellfish Group of companies is proud to be certified by national and international food plant auditing firms such as NSF International or the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) Safe Quality Food (SQF) Program.
The Ipswich Shellfish Group of companies is also an active member of the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) and the Better Seafood Board (BSB). The Better Seafood Board provides accountability for the members commitment to economic integrity.
Know where your seafood is coming from – select Ipswich Shellfish Group to know that your product meets the highest industry standards of quality, safety and integrity.