On July 12-13, 2022 the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) hosted its inaugural 2022 ASC Shrimp Summit in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The first-of-its-kind event served to unite North American retailers with Ecuadorian producers of ASC-certified and labeled shrimp – offering an intimate look at the supply chain right where it starts: on the farm.
ASC gathered 14 representatives from major retail companies including Alberton’s, Ahold Delhaize USA and Loblaws, along with industry heavyweights like Sysco, for a series of farm tours, panels and workshops over the two-day summit.
Known as the “gateway to the Galapagos,” Guayaquil is a port city located in southern Ecuador, nestled beside a confluence of rivers and just a short drive to the Andes. Greater Guayaquil stretches across land and coast where its diverse ecosystem strikes a unique balance with the largest shrimp industry in the world.
The country went from 5.6% global production in 2010 to 22.1% in 2021, exporting over $5 billion USD in shrimp alone.
ASC worked closely with Ecuadorian-based Sustainable Shrimp Partnership (SSP) to ensure over 40 aquaculture companies were represented as part of the effort expand dialogue between the two markets.
The packed agenda included:
- Trips to four ASC-certified shrimp farms demonstrating a wide range of production volumes and environments, including those using sea water (high salinity) and river water (low salinity), with both resulting in healthy mutual water exchange
- An up-close look at hatcheries and harvest activities, which is when ASC-certified farms are audited to monitor and document practices taking place during the busiest times of year
- Samplings of ASC-certified shrimp dishes, showing the unique flavors that come from Ecuador’s mid-salinity environment where antibiotic-free, responsibly farmed Pacific white shrimp are raised
- A series of panels and workshops between retailers, producers and processors to foster improved understanding of the North American marketplace and ASC-certified, labeled shrimp production in Ecuador
“We are extremely pleased with the attendance and engagement of all those who joined us for the inaugural shrimp seminar here in Guayaquil, Ecuador,” said Peter Redmond, ASC’s Senior Market Development Manager. “A special thanks to our retail and foodservice partners that participated to make this event a success, the likes of which has never been held in-country before.
“The key point presented to all was the need for continued use of the ASC label on-pack – the best way to assure that what’s in the bag is what’s actually in the bag. The summit sought to showcase just how robust the ASC standards are with items like the elimination of antibiotic use in shrimp, which works well in Ecuador where the country itself has passed a law banning their use in farmed shrimp.”
Feedback from attendees concluded that the summit more than met its goals to improve connections between supply and demand, while demonstrating the value of ASC-certified and labeled shrimp coming from Ecuador.
Many attendees stayed on to visit additional farms, travel the Galapagos Islands and tour Guayaquil. All committed to continue elevating the sustainability and social responsibility of Ecuador’s shrimp farming industry through ASC-certification.
ASC has already confirmed future summits for:
- 2022 Salmon Summit, Chile from October 26-29
- 2023 Shrimp Summit, Ecuador, summer 2023
Those interested in attending future summits can contact Peter Redmond, ASC.
Know where your seafood came from and how it was raised. Learn about the meaning behind ASC’s sea green label here.