Findus Group defends pangasius

Findus Group is defending pangasius, calling the Vietnamese-raised fish a “safe, high quality product produced in compliance with internationally recognized standards.”
The UK frozen seafood company’s comments come after Scottish MEP Struan Stevenson told the European Parliament last week that the Mekong River is “filthy” and that Vietnam’s pangasius industry “ruthlessly” exploits workers.

“The Mekong Delta is not the environmental disaster Mr. Stevenson implies, although it does, of course, require sustainable management,” said Stephen Taylor, seafood category director for Findus and its Young’s brand. “We can be confident that pangasius produced in the Mekong is a safe, high quality product which is ideal for the needs of the European market.”

Taylor pointed out that Findus’ Vietnamese supplier holds British Retail Consortium, International Food Standard, GlobalGap and International Organization for Standardization 9001:2000 and 14001:2004 certification. He added that the supplier participates in both the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s Best Aquaculture Practices and the World Wildlife Fund-organized Aquaculture Dialogues, and is in line to become one of the first to achieve Aquaculture Stewardship Council certification for pangasius when the organization is up and running next year.

“In terms of social accountability, we are also rigorous about standards and work closely with our suppliers to ensure good working conditions and labor practices,” said Taylor. “Nevertheless, we don’t take any of this for granted and recognize that we must do all we can to encourage best practice across the wider industry, not just our suppliers.”

Taylor called on European policymakers to recognize the global nature of the seafood supply and encourage the competitiveness of European aquaculture by focusing on consumer needs for quality and price.

In addition to Findus, the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers also contested Stevenson’s criticism of the country’s pangasius industry in a letter to the politician on Friday.

Source: SeafoodSource

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