The RS team have been committed to helping solve the world’s sustainability and process and product integrity challenges in supply chains for over twenty years.
We assist markets, eNGOs, governments, producer groups, standards bodies and supply chains, through recognised multistakeholder initiatives. We help to deliver ideas, solutions and market relevant transformative change in the quality, safety, social and environmental performance of key industry sectors. We are experts in ISO, ISEAL, legislative and market based standards. We have created several 'world firsts' in assurance standards and programs.
In the corporate sphere, we are trusted to lead and have built deep and longstanding expertise as the architects of world leading assurance and benchmark initiatives. When groups have an assurance program concept they typically come to RS Standards to help bring it to its full potential.
Some of these national and international initiatives are outlined below. RS provide specialist standards, committee facilitation, certification, governance and accreditation support to these initiatives and associated supporters.
Responsible Plastic Management (RPM)
The RPM Program assists organisations to support their commitment to responsible plastic management and to develop and verify controls and systems. The Program is supported globally by organisations, eNGOs, markets and certification bodies. The RS team helped to create the RPM Program Standard and the operational systems.
An over reliance on so-called single use plastic , virgin plastics from fossil fuels and a throw away culture has led to a global plastic mismanagement crisis which contributes to localised and global pollution and climate change.
The need for action in plastic management, circularity innovation and control is indisputable. The RS team offers support services to members of the Program.
RFVS (Responsible Fishing Vessel Standard)
The Responsible Fishing Vessel Standard (RFVS) is the only vessel-level certification available on a global scale. The standard was created through a rigorous and transparent development process in compliance with ISO and ISEAL standard development requirements. Input was incorporated from all sectors of the global seafood industry: catching, processing, retail, standard holders and non-government organisations (NGOs). The RS team helped to create the Standard, governance and operational systems from concept.
RFVS ensures processes are in place so that crews are trained appropriately, are working in safe conditions and are treated fairly. It also ensures that they receive contracts, meals and rest time in suitable accommodations. It draws upon ILO c.188 and other global labour conventions for guidance. Vessels are assessed through an on-vessel audit, document review and verified through crew interviews.
Today’s marketplace seeks seafood supply chains that are managed in a responsible way and this includes fishing vessels. RFVS verifies crew welfare on board, that the vessel is maintained in a safe manner and that the catch is fully traceable back to legal fisheries.
BRCGS is the leading global standards initiative for food manufacturers for food safety, storage and distribution and ethical management standards. The standards are supported globally by markets and supply chains.
The RS team have been assisting the BRCGS with the development of MOUs and frameworks for combined audits with other food safety standards. This initiative allows organisation and certification bodies to better manage time and costs and avoid auditor fatigue and audit duplication.
RS maintains a BRC Professionals network of 18,000 members via Linkedin.
MarinTrust Responsible Marine Ingredients
MarinTrust is a unique international programme for marine ingredient certification. It aims to continue to improve the responsible sourcing and production of global marine ingredients, such as fishmeal and fish oil, through an accessible programme of certification.
RS has been working with MarinTrust since 2008, providing a wide range of expert services and support to the programme. These include developing and updating standards and supporting documentation, verification services, independent assessment of operational procedures. Our recent work on fisheries for the Improver Programme has facilitated new fisheries to embark on their improvement journey.
CSC - Responsible Fisheries Management
The Certified Seafood Collaborative (CSC) RFM Program, is a third-party sustainability certification for wild-catch fisheries based on the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. The CSC is a non-profit foundation organised specifically to take ownership of the certification system from the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI). The RS team helped create the RFM Standards and governance structures for this Program and similar programs in Iceland and the US Gulf region.
The RFM Program was originally created by ASMI and other Alaskan entities in 2010 as an alternative to the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) sustainability certification to make it more accessible and available to all stakeholders within the state of Alaska. The RS team helped this scheme to become the first to be benchmarked by the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI).
Since its inception, RFM has grown to be a globally recognised sustainable seafood certification program, providing credible independent assurance that Alaska’s fisheries are verified as sustainable.
The Coordinated Local Aquaculture (or Area) Management System (CLAMS) approach is a locally based and all-embracing system designed to support sustainable growth and good environmental management of aquaculture within the context of marine spatial planning. CLAMS is a framework for producers to use and coordinate their sustainable development goals. It provides a forum to engage proactively with other stakeholders to demonstrate a cohesive and organised approach to their operations and development plans.
The RS team helped to develop the CLAMS initiative and to progress it's development in order for it to continue to be practical and pragmatic for all types of users in various regions.
CLAMS serve to highlight the priorities for sustainable development within a defined area. By participation in area management and preparing a CLAMS Plan, producers can demonstrate that they conduct and develop their activities in a compliant and sustainable manner.
Certified Quality Aquaculture (CQA)
CQA is the national state program for the certification of aquaculture produce in Ireland. It is managed by the Seafood Development Agency, BIM and has been in operation for over 20 years. As a fully ISO17065 accredited Program and GSSI recognised, it continues to be managed to ensure relevance to both international markets and producer needs. It is compliant to national and EU regulations, international best practice and in line with current Irish and European maritime policy.
The user group is highly focused upon organic production and as such, the CQA Program will continue to pair with the new EU Organic Regulation 848/2018 to provide a seamless and complete quality and organic certification system.
The RS team, has and continues to provide strategic advice, solutions, governance oversight, technical and benchmarking services to BIM since inception. We are proud to be part of this founding aquaculture assurance program that continues to serve industry, the markets and stakeholder needs.
Current activities include the delivery of Issue 2 of the Standards for Farm and Processing with renewed focus on sustainable aquaculture practice, conservation of biodiversity resource efficiency and environmental performance.