Launch of First Ever Dual Certified Fair Trade and MSC Seafood Product

February 14, 2017

Male | Zürich | Oakland. Horizon Fisheries, Blueyou Trading and Fair Trade USA have partnered to launch the first ever seafood product, canned skipjack tuna, that carries both the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Fair Trade Certified™ labels. Fishing communities from four islands in the Maldives, which have caught skipjack tuna using traditional pole & line gear for centuries, are now receiving this unique recognition for being both sustainably managed and socially equitable. The fishery, which includes a fleet of 25 family-owned vessels that are based in the Laam Atoll in the Southern part of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean, has been MSC certified since 2012, indicating it meets the organization’s rigorous standards for environmental sustainability.

“We are proud to be the first MSC certified fishery to now also carry Fair Trade Certified™ label, which reflects our company’s policy and long-standing commitment towards a socially responsible and fair partnership with fishermen, island communities and our factory workers in the Maldives,” says Adnan Ali, Managing Director of Horizon Fisheries in the Maldives, the local project partner and exclusive manufacturer of the Fair Trade tuna.

International Pole & Line Foundation (IPNLF) is pleased to see one of its founding members involved in this project “Through the certification, Horizon Fisheries is further demonstrating its commitment to the fishing communities they work with and providing consumers with the opportunity to buy tuna that meets the highest environmental and social standards on the market,” states Alice Miller of IPNLF.

The Fair Trade project was developed in joint partnership with Blueyou Trading, a global trading and service company for sustainable seafood solutions. For every Fair Trade Certified canned tuna product sold, a 3 percent premium goes directly back to the fishermen for investment in important community projects, like education, improved access to drinking water, and healthcare. The fishing community was also required to meet a set of rigorous social and environmental standards to earn the certification.

“Our objective with Fair Trade has been to recognize the unique dedication of Horizon Fisheries to work with traditional coastal tuna fisheries and partner with local communities for value chain improvement. The fishermen are landing their catch right at the factory’s jetty where tuna is being processed into cans – this is as direct and transparent a tuna supply chain can get,” says René Benguerel, Managing Director of Blueyou Trading.

The tuna is processed by the company’s 845 permanent and temporary workers and exported to markets in Europe and North America. Through a Fair Trade workers fund - funded by Blueyou Trading - all factory workers at Horizon Fisheries benefit from this project in addition to the local fishing communities. “Fair Trade should not stop at a manufacturers’ door. We believe that all local actors of our supply chain should benefit from the program,” explains Benguerel. “Social responsibility and adequate participation of local stakeholders in global value chains should become a key topic of the sustainable seafood movement in the future.”

For Fair Trade USA, the non-profit organization that launched the first Fair Trade CertifiedTM seafood two years ago, the achievement is another milestone in the program’s short history. “We’re thrilled to celebrate the world’s first fishery to obtain dual certifications from both MSC and Fair Trade USA. Our partners on the ground, as well as the fishermen themselves, worked incredibly hard to meet Fair Trade’s requirements, and we’re excited to see that hard work come to fruition,” says Ashley Apel, Seafood Program Senior Manager at Fair Trade USA.

Certified products will first be launched in Germany and Switzerland by the German company Followfood under its brand followfish in early 2017. “We have a longstanding partnership with Blueyou and Horizon Fisheries and we are extremely happy to offer the first Fair Trade and MSC certified seafood product to our clients. Our company has always been pioneering market trends and we believe that Fair Trade should be the future benchmark for all seafood products harvested by small-scale producers and communities worldwide,” states Jürg Knoll, Managing Director and Founding Partner of Followfood.  

The dual certified products can be expected in the US in time, as more fishers become involved and volumes continue to grow.  Blueyou and Horizon have secured an agreement with Rema Foods, the leading importer of private label canned tuna in the US. “Rema Foods is looking forward to offering our customers this groundbreaking product in the US.  It’s imperative that we all do our part to protect our seafood resources and the fishermen that bring us this wonderful resource,” says Rema Foods CEO, Robert Feuerstein.

read moreread less

Blueyou’s Naturally Farmed Black Tiger Shrimp to Enter Chinese Market

Beijing, China - Blueyou is pleased to announce the official launch of Selva Shrimp® in China. The sustainably farmed black tiger shrimp will be available through Blueyou’s distribution partner, Kinver, in an effort to cater to the country’s growing interest in natural and safe, quality seafood products, especially in high-end supermarkets, restaurants and 5-star hotels. Blueyou Trading started working with the Chinese seafood distributor in March 2016 with the first shipment of Selva Shrimp® having arrived in port this month.


“It is a great accomplishment for us to have broken into the competitive seafood landscape in China. As a country that produces so much seafood domestically, we are thrilled to see such a warm reception for our naturally farmed black tiger shrimp here,” says Rose Ge, Blueyou’s Director of Marketing and Sales in China. 

Kinver organized a launching ceremony that took place on June 5th, 2016 with the presence of VIP guests, prospective customers and media. Guests had the opportunity to taste Selva Shrimp® prepared by a renowned chef in Beijing.  

“We are pleased to see such interest in our responsibly sourced products. Selva Shrimp® meets the growing demand of Chinese consumers for a natural, safe and traceable seafood product. Our prawns are raised without using antibiotics or even feed! We are confident that Selva Shrimp® is the best choice available for Chinese consumers that are looking for a flavorful prawn that is also produced sustainably and responsibly,” says Matthias Krebs, Managing Director of Blueyou Trading.

The Selva Shrimp® program features black tiger shrimp that are naturally raised in mangrove forests in southern Vietnam. By maintaining a functional ecosystem of mangrove forests and aquatic species, shrimp are raised using the natural productivity of the surrounding forest habitat with no external inputs such as feed, fertilizers and antibiotics. 

Transparent criteria are used as guidance for the aquaculture improvement process and are subject to an independent on-site verification process. The improvement project involves the direct interaction with farmers and processors to build a traceability system in addition to the sustainability improvements. The program also partners with existing organizations for mangrove and wetland conservation.  

These efforts have been recognized by leading environmental NGOs, with the Selva Shrimp® program, being recommended by Ocean Wise (Canada) and considered a “Best Choice” by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch® program (USA).


Blueyou Trading and Blueyou Consulting are internationally recognized trading and consulting companies focused on sustainable fisheries and aquaculture and their related seafood supply chains. The Blueyou team includes professionals in the field of fisheries and aquaculture as well as those in supply chain management, logistics and marketing. Blueyou works within an extensive worldwide network, which includes government and non-government organizations, scientific research institutions as well as private companies in the seafood production and market sectors.

For more information about Selva Shrimp® or Blueyou’s other aquaculture and fishery improvement programs, please contact Laura Peet at laura.peet@blueyou.com and visit us on the web at www.blueyou.com and www.selvashrimp.com.

read moreread less

Improved US Market Access for Sustainably Caught Yellowfin Tuna from Artisanal Fisheries

Blueyou Consulting is pleased to announce an agreement for market exclusivity and distribution with Norpac Fisheries Export (Norpac) for the promotion and sales of Artesmar® branded fresh and chilled yellowfin tuna products in US consumer markets. 

Effective March 2016, the agreement gives Norpac Fisheries Export exclusivity within the US retail and food service market to promote and distribute sustainably caught yellowfin tuna products from the Artesmar® fishery improvement program (FIP).

Operated and managed by Blueyou Consulting, Artesmar® is a unique FIP that recognizes high catch selectivity and low impacts on aquatic habitats as important merits of many small-scale fisheries. The program further offers a framework for fishery improvement by using market incentives and socioeconomic benefits as drivers for more sustainable business and fishing practices. Artesmar® was launched three years ago with the Philippines’ single hook handline yellowfin tuna fishery as the first candidate fishery to enter into the program.


”Artesmar® links small-scale community fisheries to international consumer markets. With traceability being a challenge for many seafood products, we create an identity for seafood from artisanal fisheries and offer an effective and credible framework for fishery improvement towards MSC certification,” explains René Benguerel, Managing Director of Blueyou Consulting. “We are happy to have a committed market partner such as Norpac to further strengthen our program and promote sustainably caught tuna from artisanal fisheries in such an important market as the United States.”

Norpac Fisheries Export is a leading US-based seafood company engaged in sourcing, processing, distribution and marketing of fresh and frozen seafood products to wholesale, retail, club stores and food service customers globally. Globally recognized as a leader in seafood sustainability, Norpac is currently running an industry-led FIP for longline-caught yellowfin and big eye tuna in the Western Pacific. 

“Cooperating with Blueyou for the promotion and marketing of Artesmar® tuna products from small-scale fisheries makes good sense to Norpac,” says Thomas Kraft, Managing Director of Norpac Fisheries Export. “Norpac is very experienced with developing and implementing improvements working toward the sustainability of tuna catch in the Pacific and the Artesmar® program enhances that experience with small-scale, community-based fisheries. Artesmar® tuna is therefore an ideal fit for us and our clients in the US. It creates a direct link to a source of selectively-caught tuna that comes with full traceability and is subject to a credible FIP moving toward the goal of MSC certification.”  


The Artesmar® program is fully aligned with the criteria for FIPs developed by the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions (CASS), which sets the benchmark for the effectiveness and credibility of a FIP. Single-hook handline-caught Artesmar® yellowfin tuna is also recognized by the Ocean Wise™ program in Canada for offering a more sustainable alternative to conventionally caught yellowfin tuna products and is considered a “Best Choice” by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch® program. 

Both Norpac and Blueyou see this emerging relationship as a strong step forward to further develop responsibly sourced tuna under the Artesmar® program in the United States. “Our relationship with Norpac will strengthen our presence in the US market. We aim to fill an increasing demand for traceable, responsibly caught, natural tuna,” says Neil Radix, Marketing Director of Blueyou in North America. 


With the first tuna supplies from the Artesmar® FIP having come to market in 2013, the program has been steadily growing and, today, supplies more than 15 import and distribution companies in Europe, North America and the Asia Pacific region with responsibly caught, fresh and chilled tuna products from both the Philippines and the Maldives.  

For Meliomar Inc. in the Philippines – Blueyou’s local subsidiary which acts as the private sector partner of the Artesmar FIP - the agreement with Norpac will further strengthen and support the company’s daily work with small-scale fishermen throughout the Philippines. Christian Schmidradner, CEO of Meliomar explains, “With this agreement we are able to support the livelihoods of more than 2,500 fisher families who will receive improved value for their catch. We are also able to further strengthen and scale-up our fishery improvement work under the Artesmar® program in 30 coastal communities in the Philippines.” 

read moreread less

Invest in Vibrant Oceans

Encourage Capital (with partners Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Rockefeller Foundation) has released their fisheries report “Investing for Sustainable Global Fisheries” along with an excellent website that offers the first business Investment Blueprints for restoring ocean health and fish stocks through impact investing. 

Blueyou Consulting is pleased to have been involved with this inspiring and innovative work and is thrilled with these newly developed resources!

It is time to “invest in vibrant oceans”!!!

read moreread less

Hooked on Sustainable Tuna from Local Artisanal Fishermen

Zürich, Switzerland and Manila, Philippines – The Philippines is a well-known country of origin for many seafood products that are traded and consumed worldwide. While it maintains a reputation as a global seafood producer, local seafood consumption remains significant and is beginning to get hooked on more responsibly caught seafood.

“The Philippines, especially Manila, shows great potential for using seafood only from sustainable sources,” says Executive Chef Marko Rankel from Diamond Hotel.

Filipinos have a long tradition of consuming locally caught seafood, but with issues of overfishing and poor fisheries management stressing local stocks, the country has become increasingly dependent on imported seafood. 

Adding to this demand for foreign imports is the high-end consumer perception that imported seafood is higher quality than what can be found locally. Certain chefs in the country are trying to educate their clientele against this false perception by serving sustainable, high quality, local products. 

Chef Jose Luis Gonzalez from The Vask explains, “It is the chef’s responsibility to make sure that the food we use is of course high quality, but is also not damaging to our environment. This is a top priority of our restaurants and we feel a responsibility to use our menu to educate those who may not be informed on the importance of sustainable fish.”

As locals are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of implementing more sustainable fishing practices in the Philippines to rebuild their troubled fisheries, the Manila-based company, Meliomar, Inc., has started to promote sustainably caught tuna from local, small-scale fisheries operating under the Artesmar® Fisheries Improvement Project (FIP). 

The FIP works with artisanal fishing communities in 10 different provinces around the archipelago, providing a functional framework for stepwise fishery improvement, and has reached more than 8,000 fishers. 

“The concept involves the tackling of basic issues such as compliance with Non-IUU regulations first, which we regard as fundamental for any future improved management measures for coastal fisheries in the Philippines,” Oscar Almaden, Fishery Outreach and FIP Manager at Meliomar.

Shangri-La Makati’s Executive Chef Paul Lenz says, “We work with Meliomar to show our commitment to sustainable fisheries. Their program targets plentiful species and mandates environmental safeguards like curbing bycatch, in order to protect these precious resources into the future and support our local fishing communities here in the Philippines.”

Under the Artesmar® FIP, Meliomar has also developed a unique traceability system that incorporates the tagging of each individual tuna upon landing, which allows the company to reliably trace all tuna products direct from their origin.

According to Mark Dia, Regional Oceans Campaign Manager for Greenpeace Southeast Asia, “In order to rebuild stocks and bring Philippines marine resources back to a productive level, a concerted effort by the government, municipalities, industry, civil society and fishermen is needed – and Meliomar seems to be ready to take an active role and become a champion for change on the industry level.”

The investments Meliomar makes into its traceability system and the program of fishery improvement are significant. “Thankfully, more and more chefs understand the change we are making on the water and are interested in becoming part of the solution,” assured Christian Schmidradner, General Manager of Meliomar. “It is of utmost importance that all stakeholders who have an impact on ocean sustainability collaborate and join their efforts for change. This includes policy makers, law implementing bodies, NGOs, industry players like exporters and importers, chefs in hotels and restaurants as well as the end consumers,” he continued.

Chef Gonzalez appreciates the company’s efforts, stating that it is “the only fish supplier at present to deliver fresh fish to our restaurants that fulfills our sustainability requirements.”

The products, which are sold under the Artesmar® consumer brand, have been well received by a number of chefs from high-end hotels and restaurants due to their high quality as well as their environmental and social sustainability. 

The Hyatt City of Dreams Manila’s Executive Chef Michael Luedtke also sources Artesmar products. “As part of Hyatt’s worldwide efforts to make a real difference when it comes to sustaining the global food supply and eliminating the sourcing of highly vulnerable seafood species, we appreciate Meliomar as a local partner and supplier of sustainable yellowfin tuna.” 

“By participating in the Artesmar® supply chain, hotels and restaurants are directly contributing to the program of fishery improvement and, therefore, become part of the sustainability solution for the eventual rebuilding of marine resources in the Philippines,” says Schmidradner.

Meliomar plans to increase market outreach and sales in an effort to commit other food service and culinary outlets to more responsible seafood sourcing. The company, which supplies yellowfin tuna and Mahi Mahi from artisanal handline fisheries at present, is working to broaden its species offerings with the development of assessment criteria in an effort to bring more sustainable choices to local hotels and restaurants.

read moreread less

Cooperation agreement signed for Selva Shrimp forest management area

We have good news from our Selva Shrimp program in Vietnam!

Together with our local partner Minh Phu, we have signed a cooperation agreement with the Forest Management Board (FMB) in Kien Vang – an FMB with a total surface area of 9,600 ha and more than 1,000 farmers!

Following a workshop at the Kien Vang FMB that was attended by officials and farmers, a signing ceremony was held at Minh Phu’s office in Ca Mau in the presence of Mr Quang (Director of Minh Phu), Mr Xê (Head of the Kien Vang FMB), and Mr Bằng (Head of Ca Mau’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development).


We are pleased to be working with farmers and the local government on the important issue of mangrove-shrimp farming and helping the farmers of sustainably farmed Selva Shrimp gain recognition on global markets!

read moreread less

Blueyou and Minh Phu form strategic partnership for sustainable black tiger shrimp

The Nhung Mien Forest Management Board has achieved the world’s first Selva Shrimp® certification for its integrated shrimp-mangrove farming, which ensures the restoration and conservation of mangrove forests in Ca Mau Province, Vietnam. The shrimp-mangrove forest area, which is managed by Minh Phu Seafood Corporation, is a collaboration of hundreds of small-scale farmers.  

An environmentally sustainable alternative to conventionally farmed shrimp, Selva Shrimp® black tiger prawns are grown in established mangrove forests and verified according to sustainability criteria developed by Blueyou Consulting. By maintaining a functional ecosystem of mangroves and aquatic species, shrimp are raised using the natural productivity of the surrounding forest habitat with no need for feed, fertilizers or chemicals. This method of farming has long been praised for its environmental and social sustainability and appreciated by local and regional consumers for its exceptional quality and natural taste, but has yet to gain its deserved traction in international markets.

Urs Baumgartner, Selva Shrimp® Program Director, further explains, “shrimp-mangrove farming systems reflect the complexity of ecosystems — not only from an ecological perspective but also for socio-economic reasons. Due to a multitude of stakeholders and interests involved, cooperation among parties is essential and certification thus becomes a lengthy and rigorous process.”

To emphasize the cooperation needed, Blueyou Consulting has established a strategic partnership for the distribution of Selva Shrimp® products worldwide with Vietnam’s biggest seafood exporter Minh Phu Corporation, who has been active in Ca Mau province since the beginning of the blue revolution, and select import and distribution partners in the US, Canada and other countries. 

Marketing efforts for Selva Shrimp® are globally focused, with plans to further the brand’s reach in the US, Canada, Europe, and Japan. Blueyou Consulting together with Minh Phu will be attending Seafood Expo North America in Boston, March 15-17, 2015, to showcase Selva Shrimp® as well as other improvement programs and sustainable seafood products. 

Verified and approved by IMO, Selva Shrimp® is the first and only black tiger shrimp product to be recommended as a “Best Choice” by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program.

“With prawns being the number one most popular seafood item in North America, it’s great to finally see farming operations improving and providing a sustainable prawn option that our restaurant and retail partners love,” says Theodora Geach, Ocean Wise Seafood Specialist.

Since conventional shrimp farming is often associated with negative environmental and social impacts, Selva Shrimp® has been gaining recognition among sustainability-minded buyers in North American and European markets due to its environmental performance and focus on small-scale farmers.

Baumgartner adds, “the Selva Shrimp® program supports farmers and the Vietnamese government to achieve their goal of protecting existing mangrove forests while also expanding aquaculture production – an apparent contradiction that can only be solved with integrated farming systems.”

read moreread less

Processing plants receive first Chain of Custody certificate for Artesmar FIP

Two processing companies have undergone the first Chain of Custody (CoC) audit for the Artesmar® Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) in the Philippines. The two companies, Meliomar and Alpitrade, have successfully passed the audit based on the unique traceability system developed by Blueyou Consulting for all yellowfin tuna products procured and marketed under the Artesmar® program.

Artesmar® is a unique initiative for fishery improvement that addresses the challenges of small-scale fisheries and offers a functional framework for stepwise fishery improvement. By creating direct market access for seafood caught by smallholder fishers, the initiative uses market-incentivized processes and socioeconomic benefits as key drivers for the development of more sustainable business and fishing practices. Eligibility for Artesmar® is based on ecological criteria, which is used to conduct an assessment of the fishery followed by the development of a fisheries-specific improvement plan that is implemented over a longer term. For a product to be a part of Artesmar®, it must additionally pass the CoC criteria. The three sets of criteria (Eligibility, CoC and Improvement) are audited by the Institute for Marketecology (IMO), making Artesmar® the only FIP program worldwide that includes independently audited CoC criteria.

“We are proud to be taking on the important issue of traceability, which continues to be a significant challenge for global seafood markets,” says Christian Schmidradner of Meliomar. “Our successful audit against the Artesmar® CoC standard ensures that consumers have access to sustainable and traceable yellowfin tuna products.”


As supply chains for small-scale fisheries in developing countries are highly complex, traceability is typically challenging to execute. The Artesmar® improvement scheme emphasizes the importance of CoC criteria to ensure the traceability of products.

“FIPs usually seek to generate market value with the objective of transferring the added value to the fishing communities where the FIP operates. However, fish trading in many areas often does not allow for traceability back to landing sites, which thus undercuts the desired value transfer and, furthermore, undercuts the justification of the FIP,” explains Fabian Mollet, FIP Technical Manager at Blueyou Consulting.

“Meliomar is unique in that it provides the tools to finance the efforts to establish traceability, allowing for the Artesmar® FIP to ensure that the added value reaches the fishers officially participating in the FIP. To deserve any claim of fishery improvement on the market, we think that FIPs should start with an independent and critical verification to guarantee traceability for all fish sold within the FIP,” says Mollet.

read moreread less

First shrimp farm worldwide achieves ASC certification!

The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) has announced the first shrimp farms to achieve certification. Owned and managed by the Ecuadorian company Omarsa, a group of three shrimp farms have completed the assessment process and are now the first shrimp farms in the world to receive ASC certification.

The vertically integrated farms have been undergoing a rigorous improvement process, managed in close collaboration and under technical guidance by Blueyou Consulting, over the past 3 years to ensure their compliance with the new ASC standard.

We are thrilled to see our partner, Omarsa, as the world’s first ASC certified shrimp farm. The extensive, low-input farming systems used by the company, combined with professional farm management, the use of sustainably produced feed, and the implementation of a community development plan have been the cornerstones of this major achievement,” says René Benguerel, Blueyou’s Managing Director. 

Omarsa’s certification is largely the result of the company’s longstanding commitment to responsible and sustainable aquaculture practices. Under the ASC’s Biodiversity-inclusive Environmental Impact Assessment (BEIA) and the Participatory Social Impact Assessment (PSIA), Omarsa has been able to demonstrate a well-balanced approach to addressing the environmental and social aspects of marine shrimp farming.

For Sandro Coglitore, Managing Director of Omarsa, the route to certification was a positive experience: “We are very proud and happy to receive an official third party recognition for our continuous engagement for more sustainable and socially responsible shrimp farming in Ecuador. The ASC standard for farmed shrimp is definitely quite demanding - and it’s good to see that our efforts and investments have led to a successful certification”.

The aquaculture improvement and ASC compliance process was funded in part by the IDH Farmers in Transition (FIT) Fund, which provides financial assistance to aquaculture producers in an attempt to keep up with the increasing global demand for sustainably farmed shrimp.  The FIT Fund supports farmers to implement more sustainable practices that meet buying requirements and help to future-proof the sector by improving social and environmental performance.

For Roy van Daatselaar, who manages the FIT Fund, the ASC certification of Omarsa is an important step into right direction. “We are happy to learn about the successful completion of our project with Omarsa and Blueyou Consulting in Ecuador. Based on these experiences, we hope to see more Latin American producers participating in the ASC program”

Especially in the wake of the negative press farmed shrimp has received lately (early mortality syndrome crisis, human trafficking, etc.), ASC certified shrimp is in high demand by sustainably-minded consumers in Europe and North America who want to support production that is free of negative environmental and social impacts.

“Our retails clients have been waiting for the ASC to certify shrimp farms for more than four years – we will be launching the first ASC certified shrimp in the Scandinavian market soon,” says Jesper Hansen, CEO of Planets Pride in Denmark. The company has been partnering with Blueyou and Omarsa throughout the improvement process and is Omarsa's partner of choice for the Scandinavian Market. 

read moreread less
logo for print