Tropical Aquaculture Products, Inc. is pleased to announce that our partner, tilapia producer Piscicola New York (PNY) in Neiva, Huila, Colombia, has achieved its Third Star in the Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) Program thanks to its newly BAP-certified hatchery. Piscicola New York has the longest history as a Colombian Tilapia exporter. It was the first Colombian Tilapia Producer to become BAP certified, and now is the first Colombian Tilapia exporter to become 3 Star Certified. Piscicola New York will now expand its focus to its feed supplier in order to achieve the 4th Star for its entire production.
While Piscícola New York employs more than 250 people in its rural communities, it does more than just create jobs. In a region that bordered the so-called ‘distention’ zone, a government demilitarized zone controlled by FARC (the largest guerrilla organization in Colombia), no industry could operate safely. The impact of the tilapia industry has been invaluable. People from local communities that had to migrate to the cities or hide in fear now have an option to stay and support their families with stable and well-remunerated jobs. Providing strong community support, Piscícola New York is partly responsible for bringing the lowest unemployment rate in the State of Huila to the Riviera Municipality, one of Huila’s 37 municipalities. Moreover, 50% of the employees at the processing plant are single mothers, who through their work at Piscicola New York, now have the ability to provide for their children and extended families.
Tropical and its producers are committed to providing the highest quality tilapia products. In doing so, we make every effort to ensure that environmental and social responsibilities are not sacrificed in the pursuit of this goal. BAP Certifications have been an excellent verification that Tropical’s farming and processing partners are meeting the growing demand for seafood in a highly responsible manner.
Tropical Aquaculture Products and its Producers in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico are committed to making a difference, one that is realized by our employees, customers, and consumers for this and future generations.
We'd like to congratulate our partner in Brazil, Netuno for attaining Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification for its tilapia farming operation early this month.
Attaining the ASC certification is not only a great achievement for Netuno, but it is proof of our partner's commitment to responsibly produce tilapia while measuring up to strict food safety and environmental standards.
The ASC label verifies that tilapia production occurs responsibly and in a way that benefits producers and consumers. ASC certified farms limit their impact on the environment from the effects of water pollution, escapes of farmed fish, the use of chemicals, antibiotics and nitrogen footprint. They also adhere to strict guidelines that promote the social conditions of workers and their surrounding communities.
Netuno began operating as a fishmonger in Recife, Brazil in 1989. Twenty-seven years later, Netuno has evolved into a 100 % Brazilian company specializing in seafood production and trade. Its tilapia production is completely integrated with optimal practices throughout the entire process, from hatchery to processing.
Netuno utilizes a cage system of 46 tilapia cages spread between two farm locations, Jatobá and Petrolândia, situated in the Paulo Alfonso dam in the São Francisco River. The dam has a water renovation rate of 1,200 cubic meters per second, which is ideal for maintaining a clean water body and is a key component in the healthy cultivation of fish in the absence of antibiotics.
At the farms, specific measures are taken to ensure that our tilapia are carefully nourished. The fish are fed a formulated feed with excellent nutritional value necessary to raise a strong and healthy fish.
Upon harvest, the fish is transported live to the processing plant where it takes less than 6 hours for the product to be ready to ship. The cold chain is maintained from the moment the fish leaves Netuno's processing facility, to the moment it arrives in the city of Sao Paulo, where it is then flown in refrigerated cargo to its destination in the United States.
All products are free of any and all chemicals, preservatives and gasses that may alter, extend or prolong natural color or shelf life.
Both Netuno and Tropical are committed to supplying seafood that is of superior quality and exceeds Brazilian food safety requirements in order to comply with international standards. By complying with the ASC standard at the farm and implementing the BAP standard at the plant, Netuno ensures responsible and sustainable management of the tilapia farm and processing facility.
According to Andre Brugger, Sustainability, Traceability and Certification Program Coordinator at Netuno, what sets Netuno apart is the "passion in all we do" and their ability to deliver "excellent quality to a global network for over 20 years while being committed to social and environmental responsible practices".
For Netuno, partnering with Tropical is important as "Netuno sees tremendous value in the sales capability, experience and knowledge Tropical has in this unique market." Partnering with Tropical in the fresh business "gives us the ability to focus 100% of our energy on producing a top quality tilapia in the most responsible and efficient way", said Andre.
At Tropical the geographic diversity of our partner farms, enable us to avoid unexpected obstacles or delays due to natural causes or transportation issues. Having a diverse tilapia network allows us the flexibility to substitute any day's harvest. This complex structure enables Tropical to maintain continuity of supply while providing the freshest fish possible every day of the week. Our tracking system provides us detailed traceability from the hatchery forward.