Quality certificates issued to 50 Egyptian fish farms
Fifty Egyptian fish farmers have been awarded “the Production Quality Certificate”, which may lead the way to a national program for the quality of farmed fish in the country.
The quality certificates, issued by Intertek, confirm the safety of the local produce and its source attendees were told when Dr Mona Mehrez, Deputy Minister of Agriculture for Animal, Poultry and Fish Affairs, presented the certificates to the 50 tilapia producers.
This comes six months after Intertek was appointed as a Quality Partner by WorldFish-Egypt (HQ in Malaysia) to support a project to upgrade approximately 100 fish farms in Egypt. This work is part of an IDH-funded project to improve standards in Egypt’s farmed fish (tilapia) value chain. Intertek and WorldFish worked on the complete development of the Egyptian aquaculture Best Management Practices (BMP) standards for the entire supply chain.
Tilapia are mainly freshwater fish inhabiting shallow streams, ponds, rivers and lakes and less commonly found living in brackish water. Historically, they have been of major importance in artisanal fishing in Africa, and they are of increasing importance in aquaculture and aquaponics.
Tilapia is the fourth most consumed fish in the United States dating back to 2002. The popularity of tilapia came about due to its low price, easy preparation, and its mild taste.
In a statement Intertek said: “Our team of expert auditors established and implemented the BMP certification system which focuses on improving performance by managing and optimising operations. The team also provided training and support for value chain operators including feed producers, hatcheries, farmers, wholesalers and retailers. The training and support provided by Intertek aims to improve production quality and implement efficient quality systems and meet the growing demand in both domestic and international markets. Farmed Fish in Egypt now accounts for 77% of total fish production in the country. With this global certification, tilapia farmers, retailers and other value chains can continue to adopt best practices in order to improve the efficiency of the production process and improve the quality of fish products.”
Kassem Wahid, General Manager of the North Africa region at Intertek said: “We are very pleased to be working with WorldFish and the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture on the IDH project. We congratulate all awarded farmers on their achievements in improving performance, managing and optimising their operations with efficient quality systems. The certificates presented to the fish farmers, who collectively account for 10,000 tons of fish per year, will enable them to sell their products in new markets, including hotels, restaurants and various hypermarkets. Our collaboration with the Egyptian government and its support to ensure the safety and high quality of fish and related products is a step forward to meet the growing demand in domestic and international markets.”
The project is a result of the successful cooperation between WorldFish, the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture, Intertek and the Central Laboratory of Pesticide Residues. Intertek is an internationally recognized certification body for food safety programmes, and as such, offers certification specifically related to farming methodology, including organic certification, and has become an integral part of global initiatives to certify, train and support the whole value chain and assure its sustainability.
Intertek is a leading Total Quality Assurance provider to industries worldwide with more than 1,000 laboratories and offices and over 42,000 people in more than 100 countries, delivers innovative and bespoke Assurance, Testing, Inspection and Certification solutions for customers’ operations and supply chains.