ASC Programme Centre Beta

Feed Standard

Throwing feed

The UoC has a management system to implement the ASC feed standard, including operating legally, and in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.

Rationale

The aquaculture sector is rapidly growing, which can result in regulatory challenges. As a result, there is an increased risk that the industry be(comes) unregulated. Since it is illegal[17] in most countries to have a business without possessing all needed licences and permits, the UoC is required to be in possession of these as a minimum.

Within the ASC Feed Standard, regulatory compliance is required throughout Principle 1; with a focus on permits and licenses under Criterion 1.1, Labour laws under Criterion 1.3 and environmental laws under Criterion 1.17.

Indicators:
1.1.1The UoC shall be in possession of all required legal licenses and permits.

Rationale

A management system is the way in which an organisation manages the inter-related parts of its business in order to achieve its objectives. The level of complexity of the system will depend on each organisation’s specific context, its size, scope and risks of its activities. The management system includes policies, procedures and processes, so that objectives are achieved effectively and efficiently. This includes compliance with ASC requirements; in other words, the management system is applied to all criteria in this standard.

The indicators in this criterion are based on the common quality control adaptive management method which entails a Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA)-cycle[18][19]

Indicators:
1.2.1The UoC shall have a management system[20] in place covering the entire UoC, signed off by responsible management, to ensure continuous implementation[21] of all ASC requirements: ASC Feed Standard and ASC Requirements for the Unit of Certification (RUoC). 
1.2.2The UoC shall have a system to prevent acts of corruption, extortion, embezzlement or bribery.
1.2.3The UoC shall have a system to ensure records are not falsified and information is not misrepresented.
1.2.4The UoC shall have at least one named member of management who is responsible for the implementation of the ASC requirements.  
1.2.5The UoC shall ensure that relevant employees[22] have the required competencies to implement the ASC requirements. 
1.2.6The UoC shall monitor compliance against the ASC requirements through, as a minimum, annually scheduled internal audits and implement corrective measures where relevant.
1.2.7The UoC shall be able to demonstrate compliance against the ASC requirements to ASC auditors, ASC scheme owner, and the ASC assurance body.
1.2.8The UoC shall review the management system when needed and at least annually, and address any issues identified within an appropriate timescale.

Rationale

In combination with the indicators under Criterion 1.1, compliance with labour regulations represents a fundamental basis for the development of socially responsible feed production.

Indicators:
1.3.1The UoC shall comply with all applicable labour-related laws and regulations and maintain a system for its compliance.
1.3.2The UoC shall ensure all employees are familiar with their labour-related rights; including ASC requirements on labour-related rights, even if not covered by applicable laws and regulations.   

Rationale

Within the United Nations (UN) Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) it is recognised that forced, bonded, compulsory labour[23] and human trafficking[24] is a persistent problem in many industries[25] and regions of the world[26]. The fishing and aquaculture industries are no exception to this,[27][28]

According to recent estimates[29], 40.3 million people around the world are victims of modern slavery of which 25 million people are victim of forced, bonded or compulsory labour. This includes human trafficking, debt bondage (labour demanded as a means of payment of debt), and more subtle forms of forced labour that force employees to remain in their jobs against their will through other means of threat. As with child labour, poverty is a key driver of forced labour. However, this phenomenon is not limited to low-income countries. In some industries and regions of high-income countries, (migrant) employees can equally become the victims of forced labour.

Relevant reference documents:

  1. ILO Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29);
  2. ILO Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105);
  3. ILO The Protection of Wage Convention, 1949 (No. 95);
  4. ILO The Private Employment Agencies Convention, 1997 (No. 181).
Indicators:
1.4.1The UoC shall not (be) engage(d) in, or support, forced, bonded, compulsory labour or human trafficking. This includes:

  • work that is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty[32]
  • work for which the person has not offered himself or herself voluntarily[33];
  • the use of deception or other forms of coercion, for the purpose of exploitation of people.
1.4.2If forced, bonded, compulsory labour or human trafficking is found, the UoC shall implement effective remediation procedures to comply with 1.4.1, that put the best interest of the person first, such as resolving debts or other forms of bondage, as well as enabling revised employee conditions or repatriation. Remediation actions are documented and are verified to ensure effectiveness.  
1.4.3If forced, bonded, compulsory labour or human trafficking is found, the UoC shall implement effective corrective actions that prevent recurrence. Corrective actions are documented and are verified to ensure effectiveness.  
1.4.4The UoC shall ensure that any employment/recruitment agency(ies) used is screened and monitored to ensure that it is: 

  • licensed or certified by the competent national authority, 
  • conforms with Criteria 1.1.
1.4.5The UoC, or if applicable the agency(ies) involved in recruitment, shall not take into its possession[34] any original identity documentation such as IDs, visas, passports, without which the employee would not be able to freely terminate the employment, travel or leave the country.
1.4.6The UoC, or if applicable the agency(ies) involved in recruitment, shall not withhold any part of the employee’s salary, property, or benefits, even if local regulation allows for this. The only situations where withholding is permitted is when required by law.
1.4.7The UoC, or if applicable the agency(ies) involved in recruitment, shall not charge employees any fees for recruitment[35] or during employment. This includes any costs, or deposits, associated with the processing of official documents including work visas. For migrant workers[36], this includes any costs, or deposits, associated with travel and repatriation.
1.4.8The UoC shall allow employees to freely move around the workplace in order to use sanitary facilities and have access to drinking water during their work shift.
1.4.9The UoC shall not keep employees involuntarily on site outside of a work shift.
1.4.10The UoC shall offer employees reasonable and safe transportation to leave the premises when the workplace is not readily accessible and public transportation is not available; allowing employees to leave the site once their shift is over. 
1.4.11The UoC shall not require employees to reside in employer-operated accommodation as a condition of employment for non-remote, readily accessible, operations.
1.4.12The UoC, or if applicable the agency(ies) involved in recruitment, shall not engage in prison labour.

Rationale

Children[37] and young workers[38] are particularly vulnerable to economic exploitation due to their inherent age-related limitations in physical development, knowledge, lack of independence and experience. These vulnerabilities can lead to worst forms of child labour which are to be prioritised for elimination without delay. Employment, and exploitation, of children and young workers occurs globally and in many (if not all) industries[39]. The aquaculture sector is, unfortunately, no exception to this[40].

However, not all work done by children should be categorised for elimination. Children’s participation in work that does not negatively affect their health and personal development nor interferes with their schooling, is generally regarded as being something positive. This includes activities such as helping their parents around the home, assisting in a family (farming) business or earning pocket money outside school hours and during school holidays. These non-harmful forms of participation in work contribute to a child’s development and within some contexts to the welfare of their families; it provides them with skills and experience; and helps to prepare them to become productive members of society during their adult life[41].

Relevant reference documents:

  1. ILO Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138);
  2. ILO Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182);
  3. OHCHR Convention on the Rights of the Child[42]
Indicators:
1.5.1The UoC shall not (be) engage(d) in child labour[43]. This includes work that:

  • is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful to children[44]; or
  • interferes with their schooling[45]
1.5.2If child labour is found, the UoC shall implement effective remediation procedures to comply with 1.5.1 that put the best interest of the child first, such as enabling the child to attend school and remain in school until no longer mandatory. Remediation actions are documented and are verified to ensure effectiveness.
1.5.3If child labour is found, the UoC shall implement effective corrective actions that prevent recurrence. Corrective actions are documented and are verified to ensure effectiveness.  
1.5.4The UoC may[46] employ children as of the age of 15[47], or above the age of completion of mandatory schooling[48] (whichever is higher), to conduct non-hazardous work[49][50].
1.5.5The UoC may employ children as of the age of 13[51][52] to conduct light work[53] if:

  • The child received appropriate training prior to work;
  • The child receives appropriate supervision.
1.5.6The UoC shall ensure that any children[54], including young employees[55], carrying out work, only perform non-hazardous work (1.5.4) or light work (1.5.5), according to a risk assessment. The risk assessment shall be part of a general Risk Management Framework (see Figure 4, Annex 7).
1.5.7The UoC shall encourage, and shall not prevent, children of employees living on-site to attend mandatory schooling.

Rationale

Discrimination[56] is still a common problem in the workplace. While some of the more blatant forms of discrimination may have faded, many remain or have taken on new or less visible forms. It can perpetuate poverty, stifle development, productivity, and competitiveness, and ignite political instability[57].

A work relationship should be based on knowledge, skills, and competencies. 

Relevant reference documents:

  1. ILO Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951 (No. 100);
  2. ILO Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111);
  3. ILO Workers with Family Responsibilities Convention, 1981 (No. 156).
Indicators:
1.6.1The UoC shall ensure equal treatment of all applicants for employment, and employees in all cases, including: disciplinary practices, job assignment, pay & benefits, promotion and other career opportunities, recruitment process and conditions, retirement, termination, training, working conditions; irrespective of, age, caste, colour, disabilities,  ethnicity, gender, legal status, marital status, nationality, parental status, participation in trade unions, political opinion, pregnancy, race, religion, sexual orientation. 
1.6.2The UoC, or if applicable the agency(ies) involved in recruitment, shall not test for pregnancy or virginity, nor practice or encourage forced contraception.
1.6.3The UoC, or if applicable the agency(ies) involved in recruitment, shall only perform medical tests if required for health and safety reasons, according to a risk assessment. The risk assessment shall be part of a general Risk Management Framework (see Figure 4, Annex 7).
1.6.4Where the UoC, or if applicable the agency(ies) involved in recruitment, perform medical tests, employees’ data must be protected, and employees have the right to their test results.
1.6.5Where the UoC, or if applicable the agency(ies) involved in recruitment, determine that medical tests are required according to their risk assessment, employees have the right to use an independent doctor, if preferred.
1.6.6The UoC shall have effective communication[58], procedures, and monitoring in place to ensure harassment[59], abusive or exploitative behaviour does not occur in the workplace.

Rationale

ILO sets forth, through various Conventions (see below), the principle that workers should be protected from sickness, disease and injury arising from their employment as a basic right. Yet for millions of workers, the reality is very different. The ILO estimates[60] that 2.78 million people die each year from occupational accidents and work-related diseases. A further 374 million people suffer from non-fatal work-related injuries and illnesses each year, many of these resulting in extended absences from work. It is estimated that 3.94% of the world’s annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is lost as a consequence of occupational diseases and accidents. 

Health and safety within the global aquaculture industry, including processing, is still widely overlooked, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)[61].  The world’s estimated 19 million aquaculture workers regularly contend with hazardous[62] conditions. Some aquaculture workers are highly trained and in secure jobs. However, globally, many aquaculture workers are employed in precarious arrangements and drawn from often vulnerable populations, including women, Indigenous people, children, seasonal workers, migrant workers, rural and remote workers. Many of these risks remain either neglected or unaddressed due to gaps in knowledge, limited independent analyses of prevention and a lack of investment in risk reduction strategies. 

Employers face costly early retirements, loss of skilled staff, absenteeism, and high insurance premiums due to work-related accidents and diseases. Yet many of these work-related accidents and diseases are preventable through the provision of a safe and healthy work environment.

Relevant reference documents:

  1. ILO Weekly Rest (Industry) Convention, 1921 (No. 14);
  2. ILO Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 1981 (No. 155);
  3. ILO Occupational Health Services Convention, 1985 (No. 161);
  4. ILO Chemicals Convention, 1990 (No. 170);
  5. ILO Prevention of Major Industrial Accidents Convention, 1993 (No. 174).
Indicators:
1.7.1The UoC shall maintain a health & safety risk assessment[63].
1.7.2The UoC shall include at least the following risk factors (step 2 Figure 4, Annex 7) in the health and safety risk assessment (see 1.7.1): 

  • Risk of physical injuries, acute or chronic, in the workplace[64]
  • Risk of mental injuries, acute or chronic, in the working environment[65]
1.7.3The UoC shall implement appropriate measures (step 4 Figure 4, Annex 7), monitor indicators of risk (step 5a), monitor the effectiveness of measures implemented (step 5b), and repeat risk assessment depending on monitoring outcome.
1.7.4The UoC shall provide well maintained and appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) free of charge and according to the need defined in the health & safety risk assessment in indicator 1.7.1. 
1.7.5The UoC shall ensure that appropriate health & safety measures (see 1.7.3) are effectively implemented; this includes appropriate health & safety notices/instructions in the workplace, appropriate equipment maintenance, appropriate training[66] for employees including on emergency responses, as well as PPE used appropriately by employees.
1.7.6The UoC shall provide adequate First Aid (including supplies) administered by qualified personnel in the event of a work-related injury; this includes access to professional support such as an ambulance.
1.7.7Where not provided by a State/National social security/health system, the UoC shall provide and pay for insurance[67] for all employees for work-related accidents or injuries; this includes as a minimum the cost for transport and medical treatment/medication needed to treat the accident or injury, the cost for transport and medical treatment/medication needed for recovery, compensation for lost working hours, as well as the cost for any required repatriation in case of migrant workers.
1.7.8The UoC shall allow employees the freedom to remove themselves from an unsafe situation without fear of retribution.
1.7.9The UoC shall provide access to adequate and clean sanitary facilities, with adequate privacy, which includes separation by gender if required. 
1.7.10The UoC shall provide access to free, clearly labelled, potable water for all employees.
1.7.11The UoC shall provide access to a designated area to prepare food and eat during breaks.
1.7.12The UoC shall not require employees to purchase from employer-operated stores or services, such as the use of canteens, as a condition of employment; where alternative stores or services are not available due to the remote location, cost is reasonable and does not include the UoC making a profit from stores and services provided to employees.
1.7.13The UoC shall provide suitable areas for breast feeding women, and shall allow for additional workday breaks for pregnant and breast-feeding women; nursing breaks shall be counted as working time and remunerated accordingly.
1.7.14The UoC shall not engage in, or tolerate, mental[68], physical or verbal abuse, or any other form of harassment[69].
1.7.15The UoC shall ensure structural integrity of all buildings and structures within the UoC.
1.7.16The UoC shall adhere to maritime legislation, specifically regarding the health and safety dimension, for situations where the UoC interacts with maritime traffic.

Rationale

The right to freedom of association is the right to join a formal or informal group to take collective action towards the employer. Freedom of Association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining is one of the core principles of the ILO “Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.” (Conventions 87, 98 and 135).  

Collective bargaining[70] provides a more balanced power relationship for attaining beneficial and productive solutions to potentially conflictual relations between workers and employers, including wage negotiations and working conditions. It provides a means of building trust between the parties through negotiation and the articulation and satisfaction of the different interests of the negotiating partners. Collective bargaining plays this role by promoting peaceful, inclusive and democratic participation of representative workers’ and employers’ organisations.

Relevant reference documents:

  1. ILO Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948 (No.87);
  2. ILO Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949 (No. 98);
  3. ILO Workers’ Representatives Convention, 1971 (No. 135).
Indicators:
1.8.1The UoC shall inform all employees that they are free to join or form workers organisations (i.e. trade unions or other organisations that represent their labour concerns and interests), of their own choosing.
1.8.2The UoC shall inform all employees that they are free to bargain collectively.
1.8.3The UoC shall not interfere in any way with the establishment, functioning[71][72] or administration of workers’ organisation(s) or collective bargaining.
1.8.4The UoC shall, in areas where the right to freedom of association is restricted by law, accept comparable means for freedom of association and collective bargaining.

Rationale

Employment agreements generally address important aspects of the employment such as wages, benefits, termination procedures, covenants not to compete, and the respective duties and responsibilities of employer and employee. It is a legally binding mutual agreement between two parties, the employer and the employee, and is designed to give both parties security and protection.

Indicators:
1.9.1The UoC shall ensure that all employees have received, understood and agreed upon, written and understandable information about their employment terms and conditions prior to migration, and starting employment. This information shall include, at a minimum: a description of the role and any responsibilities, the type of contract (e.g. permanent, fixed-term, contractor),working hours, including allowance for breaks, paid annual leave and allowance for days off on public holidays, sick leave,wages, any agreed wage deductions (e.g. accommodation, meals), compensation for overtime, benefits (e.g. insurances),provision for free personal protective equipment,termination terms and conditions; notice period, access to relevant policies (e.g. anti-discrimination 1.6, and access to trade unions and collective bargaining 1.8).
1.9.2The UoC shall provide all employees transparency on any process involved in, and documentation on advances, loans, hours worked, pay and the calculation of any deductions, and store copies hereof within the facility.
1.9.3The UoC shall not use systematic employment arrangements – such as but not limited to: labour-only contracting[73], sub-contracting, family contracting[74], home-working, false-apprenticeships[75], exclusive use of fixed-term contracts – to avoid any social or labour rights towards their employees. 

Rationale

Within the Universal Declaration of Human Rights[76], it is stated that “Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself/herself and his/her family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.”

This statement captures the idea that every worker deserves a decent reward for their efforts which is set in a transparent manner and safeguarded through company management. Widespread evidence suggests that some wages within the aquaculture sector are still below national legal minimum wages. In addition, low wages also result in other societal barriers.

Relevant reference documents:

  1. ILO Maternity Protection Convention, 1919 (No. 3);
  2. ILO Protection of Wages Convention, 1949 (No. 95);
  3. ILO Maternity Protection Convention, 1952 (No. 103);
  4. ILO Minimum Wage Fixing Convention, 1970 (No. 131);
  5. ILO Maternity Protection Convention, 2000 (No. 183).
Indicators:
1.10.1The UoC shall set wages (before overtime and bonuses) at or above the legal minimum wage[77]; if a minimum wage has not been established by law, the UOC calculates basic needs[78] wages, in consultation with workers or their representative worker organisations. 
1.10.2The UoC shall pay wages in legal tender[79] at regular intervals but at a minimum monthly, and directly to employees, in accordance with national law, and shall not be delayed, deferred or in any way withheld.
1.10.3The UoC shall document information of wage payment and receipt of all employees, including receipt of information on advances, loans, hours worked, pay and the calculation of any deductions.
1.10.4The UoC shall ensure that employees are entitled to maternity or paternity protection in accordance with the requirements of national laws and regulations or ILO Convention 183[80], whichever is greater.

Note: Given the complexities related to determining an applicable Living Wage[81], and defining the pathway to reach it, ASC is engaged in broader, cross-cutting industry, discussions to develop Living-Wage Indicators. This is in line with the intent as set out by the original Aquaculture Dialogues. It is envisioned that the Living Wage will become part of the ASC Feed Standard into the future.

Rationale

Despite the regulation of working time being one of the oldest concerns of labour legislation[82], excessive working hours are still a widespread issue in many industries and regions. 

In many parts of the world, there is a significant link between low wages and excessive working time. Workers subject to extensive overtime can suffer consequences in their work-life balance and are subject to higher fatigue-related accident rates.   

ILO standards on working time provide the framework for regulating hours of work, daily and weekly rest periods, and annual holidays which serve to promote higher productivity while safeguarding workers’ physical and mental health. 

Relevant reference documents:

  1. ILO Hours of Work (Industry) Convention, 1919 (No. 1);
  2. ILO Weekly Rest (Industry) Convention, 1921 (No. 14);
  3. ILO Holidays with Pay Convention (revisited), 1970 (No. 132);
  4. ILO Night Work Convention, 1990 (No. 171);
  5. ILO The Safety and Health in Agriculture Convention, 2001 (No. 184);
  6. ILO Recommendation Reduction of Hours of Work (Recommendation 116).

For employees[83] aged 18, or higher:

Indicators:
1.11.1The UoC shall comply with collective bargaining agreements (if applicable) and industry standards on regular working hours, but shall not exceed 8 hours per day and 48 hours in a normal week (excluding breaks)[84][85].
1.11.2The UoC shall keep records of the hours worked by employees. 
1.11.3The UoC shall ensure that overtime hours are voluntary, occur only under exceptional circumstances and are not requested regularly.
1.11.4The UoC shall ensure that overtime is not more than 12 hours per week.
1.11.5The UoC shall ensure that overtime hours are paid at a premium rate[86] as defined by collective bargaining agreements (if applicable) or industry standards. In cases where this is not defined, a premium rate of a minimum of 125% of the agreed salary is applied to overtime hours.
1.11.6The UoC shall comply with collective bargaining agreements (if applicable) and industry standards on workday breaks, but shall not be less than 1 hour per 8 hours of work.
1.11.7The UoC shall comply with collective bargaining agreements (if applicable) and industry standards on daily rest, but shall not be less than 11 consecutive hours per 24 hours.
1.11.8The UoC shall comply with collective bargaining agreements (if applicable) and industry standards on weekly rest, but shall not be less than 24 consecutive hours (1 day) of rest within a 7-day period.
1.11.9The UoC shall comply with collective bargaining agreements (if applicable) and industry standards on annual leave[87].
1.11.10The UoC shall comply with collective bargaining agreements (if applicable) and industry standards on premium rates, working hours, breaks, daily rest, weekly rest and health assessments for night work.

For young employees:[88]

Indicators:
1.11.11The UoC shall comply with collective bargaining agreements (if applicable) and industry standards on working hours, but shall not exceed 8 hours per day[89] and 40 hours in a week (excluding breaks)[90].
1.11.12The UoC shall keep records of the hours worked by every employee. 
1.11.13The UoC shall not allow overtime hours.
1.11.14The UoC shall comply with collective bargaining agreements (if applicable) and industry standards on workday breaks, but shall not be less than 0.5 hour per 4.5 hours of work.
1.11.15The UoC shall comply with collective bargaining agreements (if applicable) and industry standards on daily rest, but shall not be less than 12 consecutive hours per 24 hours.
1.11.16The UoC shall comply with collective bargaining agreements (if applicable) and industry standards on weekly rest, but shall not be less than 48 consecutive hours (2 days) of rest within a 7-day period.
1.11.17The UoC shall comply with collective bargaining agreements (if applicable) and industry standards on annual leave[91].
1.11.18The UoC shall not allow young employees, to work between 10pm and 6am.

For children[92] conducting light work not yet classified as young employee:

Indicators:
1.11.19The UoC shall comply with collective bargaining agreements (if applicable) and industry standards on working hours, but shall not exceed 3 hours per day[93] and 14 hours in a week (excluding breaks)[94].
1.11.20The UoC shall keep records of the hours worked by every employee. 
1.11.21The UoC shall not allow overtime hours.
1.11.22The UoC shall comply with collective bargaining agreements (if applicable) and industry standards on workday breaks, but shall not be less than 0.5 hour per 3 hours of work.
1.11.23The UoC shall comply with collective bargaining agreements (if applicable) and industry standards on daily rest, but shall not be less than 14 consecutive hours per 24 hours.
1.11.24The UoC shall comply with collective bargaining agreements (if applicable) and industry standards on weekly rest, but shall not be less than 48 consecutive hours (2 days) of rest within a 7-day period.
1.11.25The UoC shall comply with collective bargaining agreements (if applicable) and industry standards on annual leave[95].
1.11.26The UoC shall not allow children, not yet classified as young employee, to work between 8pm and 6am.

Rationale

Disciplinary practices[96] are not covered by a specific ILO Convention but there are several UN agreements (see below) that collectively establish an international norm for disciplinary practices. The latter are intended to course-correct the behaviour or performance of workers, as there is a risk that this could be done in an unfair or degrading manner.

Despite not being embedded in an ILO Convention, most of the UN member states have ratified these treaties, indicating their commitment to abolish any practice that may compromise or damage an individual’s physical and mental well-being. In addition, many countries have specific national legislation making abuse in the workplace a criminal offense. 

Aiming to protect both the dignity and the physical and mental health of any individual, these instruments strive to deliver an effective and consistent method of dealing with disciplinary and performance matters. Improving motivation, establishing and carrying out a constructive disciplinary process is a key part of responsible human resource management. 

Relevant reference documents:

  1. Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948);
  2. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966);
  3. Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Being Subjected to Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1975).
Indicators:
1.12.1The UoC shall have transparent disciplinary procedures and applies them in a progressive and objective manner, ensuring dignity and respect towards the employee.
1.12.2The UoC shall not deduct from wages or benefits for the purpose of disciplinary action.

Rationale

Grievances[97] and conflicts are an inevitable part of employment relationships.  Worker grievance mechanisms[98] are also called ‘dispute’, ‘complaints’ or ‘accountability’ mechanisms and offer a system in which both the worker and the employer have the possibility to effectively address a workplace problem[99]. The latter can for instance relate to disputes between individuals as well as to workplace condition complaints.

When implemented effectively, these systems facilitate dialogue between parties before – rather than in reaction to – disputes. 

Relevant reference documents:

  1. ILO The Examination of Grievances Recommendation, 1967 (No. 130).
Indicators:
1.13.1The UoC shall have a system in place, which all employees are familiar with, which facilitates dialogue between parties (e.g. between employees and different management levels) before, rather than in reaction to, disputes.
1.13.2The UoC shall have a grievance procedure accessible and applicable to all employees.
1.13.3The UoC shall have a grievance procedure that includes requirements for non-retaliation.
1.13.4The UoC shall address all grievances within a 90-day timeframe of submission.
1.13.5The UoC shall track grievances, resulting responses and remedy.
1.13.6The UoC shall have a decision-making grievance committee that is made up of members representing the diversity of employees, in order to ensure special consideration for vulnerable groups such as new and expectant mothers, and migrant workers.
1.13.7The UoC’s grievance committee shall ensure that grievances are processed fairly, resulting in an effective outcome, and facilitates dialogue where needed. 
1.13.8The UoC shall ensure a confidential process is provided for, if preferred by the employee/entity submitting a grievance, and shall only share information as necessary to investigate the grievance. 

Rationale

Within the United Nations (UN) Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) it is recognised that everyone has the right to a standard of living (including housing) which is adequate for the health and well-being of themselves and their family. In many sectors, including in feed production, workers can reside for a period of time in accommodation provided by the employer. This is especially the case when workplaces are remote or where workers cannot commute between shifts due to distances or other logistical challenges.

As workers in these situations are not always able to find alternatives, the accommodation provided by the employer must be safe, decent and hygienic.

Relevant reference document(s):

  1. ILO Workers’ Housing Recommendation, 1961 (No. 115).
Indicators:
1.14.1The UoC shall ensure that any dormitory facilities provided for personnel or their family are safe, whether it owns, leases or contracts the dormitories from a service provider; this includes provision of safety systems, emergency/escape routes, ventilation, reasonable protection from heat, cold, noise, smell and dust, as well as adequate privacy, including separation by gender if required.
1.14.2The UoC shall ensure that any dormitory facilities provided for personnel or their family are clean, hygienic and meets their basic needs[100], whether it owns, leases or contracts the dormitories from a service provider.
1.14.3The UoC shall arrange for annual meetings between employee representatives and management, to discuss improvements to housing.
1.14.4The UoC shall ensure that dormitory facilities are located separately from production facilities.
1.14.5The UoC shall ensure that any rent is reasonable and does not include the UoC making a profit from accommodation provided to employees.
1.14.6The UoC shall provide access to appropriate sanitary facilities (within the dormitory facilities) that are clean and that provide adequate privacy, including separation by gender if required. 

Rationale

Feed industry operations often form an important part of the economic backbone of the (often remote) communities in which they are located. At the same time as providing employment opportunities, conflicting activities or interests between the industry’s operation and local communities can lead to tensions and other negative impacts. These can for example revolve around siting of operations in relationship to communities, and potential impacts from emissions such as noise, smell, dust, as well as impacts from increased traffic, etc.

This Criterion aims to make the UoC aware of its impact on the neighbouring community and requires the UoC to engage in a constructive manner.

Indicators:
1.15.1The UoC shall proactively[101] engage with the local community to periodically identify, avoid or mitigate significant negative social impacts[102] resulting from activities of the UoC. 
1.15.2The UoC shall have a grievance procedure accessible and applicable to the local community.
1.15.3The UoC shall make known to the community how grievances can be submitted and how the mechanism for dealing with grievances works.
1.15.4The UoC shall have a grievance procedure that includes requirements for non-retaliation.
1.15.5The UoC shall address all grievances resulting from activities created by the UoC within a 90-day timeframe from the date of submission by local communities.
1.15.6The UoC shall track grievances, resulting responses and remedy.
1.15.7The UoC shall have a decision-making grievance committee, including members representing local communities, in order to ensure special consideration for vulnerable groups.
1.15.8The UoC’s grievance committee shall ensure that grievances are processed fairly, resulting in an effective outcome, and facilitates dialogue where needed.
1.15.9The UoC shall ensure a confidential process is provided for, if preferred by the person/entity submitting a grievance, and shall only share information as necessary to investigate the grievance.
1.15.10The UoC shall not restrict or negatively affect community and community members’ rights to food security, and access to resources including land and water, resulting from activities by the UoC.  
1.15.11The UoC shall, to the extent possible[103], source goods and services, including employment, from the local communities. 

Rationale

Many of the world’s resources are located on land owned or controlled by Indigenous and tribal peoples[104]. The UN estimates that there are over 370 million Indigenous and tribal peoples living in over 90 countries[105]. This means businesses are frequently in close contact with Indigenous and tribal peoples, and improving these relationships is becoming increasingly important. 

Historically, many Indigenous and tribal peoples have suffered from abuse, discrimination, and marginalisation, and this continues today in many areas. As a result, many Indigenous and tribal peoples live in poverty and poor health; and their cultures, languages and ways of life are threatened. Indigenous and tribal peoples comprise five per cent of the world’s population, yet they make up 15 per cent of the world’s poor and one-third of the world’s extremely poor[106]. In many areas, their average life expectancy is shorter than non-Indigenous people[107]. Facing these realities, Indigenous and tribal peoples are often particularly vulnerable to the negative impacts of commercial development and business activities[108].

Compounded by the fact that Indigenous and tribal peoples are often an integral part of aquaculture operations’ ‘local communities’, businesses have an opportunity to involve Indigenous and tribal peoples in business ventures as owners, suppliers, contractors and employees. This can contribute to the long-term success of projects and help embed the business in the local community.

Relevant reference document(s):

  1. ILO Indigenous and Tribal Populations, 1989 (No. 107)
  2. ILO Indigenous and Tribal Populations, 1957 (No. 169)
Indicators:
1.16.1The UoC shall proactively engage[109] with the Indigenous and tribal peoples to identify, avoid and mitigate significant social impacts resulting from activities of the UoC.
1.16.2The UoC shall have a grievance procedure accessible and applicable to Indigenous peoples.
1.16.3The UoC shall make known to the Indigenous and tribal peoples how grievances can be submitted and how the mechanism for dealing with grievances works.
1.16.4The UoC shall have a grievance procedure that includes requirements for non-retaliation.
1.16.5The UoC shall address all grievances resulting from activities created by the UoC within a 90-day timeframe from the date of submission by Indigenous and tribal peoples.
1.16.6The UoC shall track grievances, resulting responses and remedy.
1.16.7The UoC shall have a decision-making grievance committee, including members representing Indigenous and tribal peoples, in order to ensure special consideration for vulnerable groups.
1.16.8The UoC’s grievance committee shall ensure that grievances are processed fairly, resulting in an effective outcome, and facilitates dialogue where needed.
1.16.9The UoC shall ensure a confidential process is provided for, if preferred by the person/entity submitting a grievance, and shall only share information as necessary to investigate the grievance.
1.16.10The UoC shall not restrict or negatively affect Indigenous and tribal people’s rights and access to sites which are of special cultural, ecological, economic, religious or spiritual significance, and for which the Indigenous and tribal peoples hold legal or customary rights[111]
1.16.11The UoC shall not restrict or negatively affect Indigenous and tribal people’s rights to food security, and access to resources including land and water, resulting from activities by the UoC.  
1.16.12The UoC shall, to the extent possible[112], source goods and services, including employment, from local Indigenous and tribal peoples.

Note: ASC intents to implement Free, Prior and Informed Consent[113] (FPIC) indicators into a future version of the ASC Feed Standard. Given the complexities related to this topic, ASC is engaged in broader, cross-cutting industry discussions to develop consistent FPIC-indicators.

Rationale

In combination with the Indicators under Criterion 1.1, compliance with environmental regulations represents a fundamental basis for the development of an environmentally responsible aquaculture feed sector.

Indicators:
1.17.1The UoC shall comply with all applicable environmental-related laws and regulations and maintain a system for compliance with them.

Rationale

Demand for freshwater is increasing due to a range of factors including changing availability, population growth, urbanisation, income growth and dietary shifts, with agricultural production being the main consumer of water. As such there is growing competition for this precious resource. It is important that feed manufacturers are aware of their water use and act to improve the water efficiency of their production process.  

The source of freshwater (i.e., surface water, ground water) and the local conditions (e.g., rainfall, sensitivity of ecosystems) are very important in determining whether or not the utilisation of this resource is detrimental to the natural environment. As such, water use data should be reported by source.

Indicators:
1.18.1The UoC shall identify all sources of water used, e.g., municipal water supplies, surface water sources, ground water sources, seawater, produced water[114], separated into “freshwater” and “other water”[115].
1.18.2The UoC shall calculate, record and, using the template provided on the ASC website, annually report to ASC its water consumption per water source in megalitres/t (total) product produced/year (using the methodology as outlined in Annex 2, section A1).
1.18.3Where wells are used, groundwater levels shall be measured and recorded on a regular basis (taking into account seasonal fluctuation) and at least once a year.
1.18.4The UoC shall develop and implement a Water Conservation and Efficiency Plan (WCEP)[116] with the intent to reduce water consumption as a result of inefficient practices, where possible. The WCEP shall include the identification of responsible practices, and measures to move away from poor practices and increase responsible practices within a meaningful timeline.  
1.18.5Using the template provided on the ASC website, the UoC shall annually report to ASC whether the UoC is operating in a region of “high” or “extremely high” water stress, according to the Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas https://www.wri.org/aqueduct
1.18.6In areas of “high” and “extremely high” water stress according to the Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas https://www.wri.org/aqueduct, the UoC shall annually perform a risk assessment[117] to assess if the WCEP (1.18.4) includes adequate measures to minimise the risk that the UoC is contributing to water supply problems for ecosystems and communities using the same water source. 

Rationale

Effective waste management ensures that resources are used in an efficient manner by reducing the amount of materials thrown away unnecessarily. It also ensures that waste containing dangerous substances are disposed of properly and do not cause harm. Feed manufacturers should aim to reduce waste and where this is not possible, find ways to reuse or recycle it. All waste must be stored and disposed of in a safe and responsible manner, with particular care taken for waste that contains substances known to be hazardous to people and the environment.

Indicators:
1.19.1The UoC shall identify all types of waste[118] generated, separated into hazardous and non-hazardous waste, and method of disposal, as well as what level of recovery is carried out on-site.
1.19.2The UoC shall calculate, record and, using the template provided on the ASC website, annually report to ASC its waste in tonne (t) per year per method of disposal (using the methodology as outlined in Annex 2, section A4).
1.19.3The UoC shall develop and implement a documented Waste Management Plan (WMP)[119] with the intent to improve waste avoidance and resource recovery where possible. The WMP shall include the identification of responsible practices, and measures to move away from poor practices and increase responsible practices within a meaningful timeline.
1.19.4The UoC shall handle and store chemicals and hazardous materials and waste[120] in a safe manner. 
1.19.5The UoC shall account for all chemicals and other hazardous waste on site.
1.19.6The UoC shall dispose of waste materials which are not re-used or recycled, in a responsible manner. Dumping waste outside the UoC site in unofficial sites and littering is prohibited.  

Rationale

Effluents[121] created from the production of aquafeeds can create problems for human and environmental health if not managed correctly. Therefore, it is important that feed manufacturers have procedures in place to avoid such incidences from occurring.

Indicators:
1.20.1The UoC shall identify all effluents (including from production, site runoff, offices and any on-site accommodation) and destination of the discharge (e.g. to surface water, groundwater, seawater, municipal treatment facilities, separated into discharge by “freshwater” and “other water”), and what level of treatment is carried out on-site. 
1.20.2The UoC shall calculate and, using the template provided on the ASC website, annually report to ASC its effluent discharge in megalitres (ML) per year per destination (using the methodology as outlined in Annex 2, section A2); the recording shall include all incidences of spills or accidental discharges
1.20.3The UoC shall develop and implement an Effluent Management Plan (EMP)[122] with the intent to reduce negative impacts on receiving waters in terms of ecosystems and human health. The EMP shall include the identification of responsible practices, and measures to move away from poor practices and increase responsible practices within a meaningful timeline. The plan shall also include spill prevention and response measures. 

Rationale

The energy used in the production of aquafeeds is not only a source of economic costs; it may also contribute to depletion of finite natural resources and emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) and other pollutants from burning of fossil fuels. There is scientific consensus that the global climate is changing and that this is closely related to the rising levels of GHG emissions coming from human activities. Most GHG emissions in aquafeed supply chains occur upstream during production of feed ingredients, including from deforestation for crop production, fertiliser use on fields, and fuel use in fisheries. Direct emissions from feed mills, meanwhile, are typically associated with the provision of energy and particularly the burning of fossil fuels. Therefore, it is important that energy is used as efficiently as possible to minimise the associated economic and environmental costs. The use of alternative sources to fossil fuels is encouraged. Different energy sources have different implications for the environment via both direct emissions from burning of fuels and indirect emissions from electricity generation and mining, refining, and transport of fuels. Therefore, it is important to have the results broken down into specific energy sources, including the share of renewable energy in the mix. Feed manufacturers should play their role in climate change mitigation by measuring the GHG emissions from their direct operations and engaging in activities to reduce these.

Indicators:
1.21.1The UoC shall identify all energy sources (e.g. diesel, petrol, natural gas, electricity, and other sources; specifying electricity from the national/regional grid and electricity coming from other renewable and non-renewable sources). 
1.21.2The UoC shall calculate, record and, using the template provided on the ASC website, annually report to ASC its energy consumption in megajoules (MJ) per tonne of (total) product produced in the assessed year (using the methodology as outlined in Annex 2, section A3).
1.21.3The UoC shall develop and implement an Energy Efficiency Management Plan (EEMP)[123] with the intent to improve energy efficiency and to increase the proportion of energy coming from renewable energy sources[124]. The EEMP shall include the identification of responsible practices, and measures to move away from poor practices and increase responsible practices within a meaningful timeline.
1.21.4The UoC shall calculate, record and, using the template provided on the ASC website, report (publicly[125] and to ASC) its Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions in kg CO2 equivalents per tonne of (total) product produced/year (using the methodology as outlined in Annex 2, section B).