Jakarta, June 6, 2022 – The shift towards meeting the global population’s food needs with safe and nutritious products has positively impacted the high demand for white meat-based food products, including Tilapia fish. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) also observes an increasing trend in Tilapia consumption in the global market. According to data from the International Trade Center (ITC), the total value of Tilapia fish imports in the global market reached USD 1.44 billion in 2018, reflecting a 6.75% increase from the previous year’s USD 1.35 billion.
The rise in consumption of alternative protein sources has prompted Tilapia aquaculture industry players to adopt sustainable and responsible fish farming practices. Citing data from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), currently, 71% of global seafood consumers prefer products originating from environmentally friendly and sustainable aquaculture practices that have been certified.
Regal Springs Indonesia, as a Tilapia fish cultivation producer in Indonesia, has successfully obtained the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification for the fourth time since 2012. This year, in April 2022, Regal Springs Indonesia once again achieved ASC certification for Tilapia fish commodities, adhering to ASC’s sustainability principles.
“By meeting this ASC eco-label certification, producers and aquaculture industries play a significant role in preserving the future of fisheries resources and enhancing the competitiveness of Indonesian fish products in the global market,” explains Marcos Moya, Global Outreach Lead of the Aquaculture Stewardship Council.
The objective of ASC certification is to transform the aquaculture industry into higher standardized practices through a comprehensive certification program that emphasizes environmental sustainability and social-cultural aspects of fisheries. “This is where ASC plays a crucial role, making fisheries and their products more valuable while minimizing their negative impact on the environment,” adds Marcos.
“The achievement of international ASC standards is one form of our company’s commitment to supporting the government as a contributor to Indonesia’s economy. Each year, we produce approximately 26,000-28,000 tons of fish, 89% of which is to meet the demand for premium Tilapia in the global market, especially in the USA, Europe, and Asia, as well as domestic market penetration. Additionally, to empower local communities, we employ more than 1,900 local workers, distributed across our processing plants, hatcheries, and fish farms in Lake Toba,” says Rudolf Hoeffelman, Managing Director of Regal Springs Indonesia.
In 2012, Regal Springs Indonesia became the world’s first Tilapia cultivation site to receive ASC certification. The sustainable aquaculture industry of Regal Springs Indonesia has made the Regal Springs group the first producer of ASC-certified Tilapia and Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) 4* Tilapia.
The parameters for obtaining ASC certification include compliance with all applicable national and local regulations, suitability of fish farming locations in terms of biodiversity conservation and natural ecosystems, development and implementation of cultivation considering the surrounding communities, responsible farming practices, treatment and responsibility towards cultured species, management of native broodstock and its impact, and the use of environmentally friendly and responsible resources.
“With the fulfillment of this eco-label standard, we hope to contribute to preserving fisheries resources for the future and enhance the competitiveness of fish products in the domestic and international markets,” hopes Rudolf.
Currently, Indonesia is the world’s largest producer and supplier of Tilapia fish, and Tilapia fish ranks among the top 10 Indonesian fish exports. Based on data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) in 2021, the volume of Tilapia fish exports has increased in the past three years. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Tilapia fish exports increased by 17.13%. BPS recorded that in 2020, Tilapia fish exports reached 12.29 thousand tons with a total export value of USD 78.44 million.
As part of the company’s environmental standard compliance within its operational areas, Regal Springs Indonesia has implemented the Lake Water Assurance Program, conducting routine water quality sampling in Lake Toba in collaboration with local government authorities, as well as other initiatives for community empowerment in the fields of social, health, education, and the environment through the “Kami Peduli” program – the world’s first integrated and sustainable program for Tilapia producers. These initiatives include COVID-19 vaccination programs for over 5,000 individuals in three districts in North Sumatra, provision of medical equipment, support for honorary teachers, scholarships for dozens of students, training for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and improvement of community road access in the vicinity of the company’s operational areas.
In addition to ASC certification standards, Regal Springs Indonesia also complies with the national standard of Good Fish Farming Practices (CBIB), which includes having fish cultivation units in appropriate environments where the risks of chemical, biological, and physical food safety can be minimized, maintaining facility and equipment cleanliness, ensuring healthy seed stocking, and meeting other criteria under the Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) for responsible Tilapia production.