Following more than two years of intensive cooperation between various stakeholders, the responsible members of the GLOBALG.A.P. Secretariat published the new version 6 of the IFA standard for aquaculture at the end of April this year. “The new version is characterized by a simplified structure and language. The new standard also comprises extended criteria on key issues such as sustainability and animal welfare, and – for the first time – offers guidelines for continuous improvement at producer level,” emphasizes GLOBALG.A.P. Managing Director Dr. Elmé Coetzer-Boersma.

New and updated sustainability topics in IFA v6 include ecosystem restoration, greenhouse gas and climate change mitigation, carbon neutrality, animal welfare, waste management, and the prevention of deforestation. Animal welfare is an area of particular focus. For example, from 2024 at the latest, companies with certified production processes can no longer source shrimp larvae from females that have suffered eye ablation or any other type of invasive method for inducing breeding. The sector is also subject to stricter, more humane slaughter practices. Hatcheries and grow-out facilities must meet higher and expanded standards on animal health and welfare.

“With IFA v6, we are hailing a new era of processes which will eventually connect all our products and services in a smarter, more intuitive, and simpler way,” GLOBALG.A.P. Managing Director Dr. Kristian Moeller comments, adding that the landscape in the sector is changing and the new standard will ensure that infrastructure evolves with it. Moeller concludes by stressing, “The IFA v6 update is just the first step of a new journey towards digitalized, impact-driven farm assurance solutions.”